DES MOINES, Iowa — Attorneys representing a union leader and several state lawmakers argued to the Iowa Supreme Court that Gov. Terry Branstad violated state law by closing two state mental health institutes last year.

Mark Hedberg and Nate Boulton told justices Wednesday that state law requires the continued operation of now-closed institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant as well as Cherokee and Independence facilities. They want the closed centers to reopen.

Iowa Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson, representing Branstad, reiterated his veto authority regarding state appropriations.

The president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Iowa and several Democratic lawmakers filed a lawsuit in July 2015, after Branstad vetoed funding for the facilities. Branstad argued patients can access care through other services.

The court could issue a decision within months.