CBHA News Weblog

Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

Archive for September, 2008

IL Senate Oks Restoration of $63 Million for Drug Treatment, Mental Health; Advocates Urge Governor Blagojevich to Sign Legislation

Posted by Frank Anselmo on September 24, 2008

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois Senate yesterday voted to restore $55 million to the state’s alcohol and drug treatment budget and $8 million to mental health care which had been originally vetoed by Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The Senate voted, 55-0, to restore the $63 million to state addiction treatment services and mental health care to halt the elimination of care for 42,000 across Illinois as part of $219 million supplement budget bill (SB 1103) to restore other state programs and services also vetoed by the Governor.

The House voted, 113-3, last week to restore the money.

“The Governor should the approve the funding immediately to halt the on-going elimination of care across the state,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO, Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois.

On July 9, Blagojevich cut $55 million from addiction treatment services and also line-item vetoed money from specific programs:  victims of domestic violence, women returning from incarceration, youth treatment, youth in the court system, and women receiving federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families who require treatment to be employed.

The legislation now goes to the Governor’s desk for approval.

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Already Cut by $25 Million, Governor Rod Blagojevich Now Threatens to Slash Mental Health Budget by $80 Million More; 62,000 at Risk

Posted by Frank Anselmo on September 18, 2008

(Springfield, IL) – Coming on the heels of a previously announced $25 million cut to the state’s mental health budget, Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Administration is now threatening to eliminate an additional $80 million. The cumulative $105 million cut would toss more than 62,000 people struggling with mental illness out of care, according to state mental health advocates.

“Governor Blagojevich’s Administration had already announced a $25 million cut to mental health, before his aides announced a further $80 million cut,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois. “A loss of $105 million will push more than 62,000 people out of care in Illinois”

“Imagine you are parent of a 11-year old child struggling with mental illness who is threatening to set fire to your home or to kill himself with a knife and you learn you have lost your child’s care,” said Anselmo. “Imagine the parent’s anguish.”

On August 26, The Illinois Department of Human Services announced to community mental health providers in a letter that their state contract is now “…subject to a reduction not to exceed twenty percent (20%) as necessary…”

The newly threatened budget cuts are heaped upon mental health and mental health-relied human services reductions already announced, totaling an additional $125 million:

  • $45 million—Department of Children and Family Services
  • $55 million—Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • $25 million—Division of Mental Health Services

“None of these services for children and families work in isolation from each other,” said Anselmo. “In many cases, they are getting hit with triple whammies by the cuts.”

Anselmo estimates nearly 103,000 people will be losing some form of mental health, substance abuse or foster care across Illinois.

“There is no vulnerable Illinois family reliant upon state care that will go unscathed,” said Anselmo. “It’s hard to get my mind around the loss of so much care to so many fragile families. It’s unprecedented.”

Posted in Governor Rod Blagojevich, Illinois Budget, Illinois Drug Treatment, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

1,700 Abused, Neglected Kids Expected to Lose Special DCFS Care Due to Blagojevich Budget Cuts

Posted by Frank Anselmo on September 4, 2008

(Springfield, IL) – Adding to an already announced avalanche of human service budget cuts by Governor

Governor Rod Blagojevich

Governor Rod Blagojevich

Rod Blagojevich’s Administration, Illinois mental health treatment providers are bracing for additional expected cuts that will wipe out specialized care for some 1,700 abused and neglected children.

“By our budget estimates, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will soon eliminate specialized care for nearly 1,700 abused and neglected state wards,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois.


On August 1, DCFS announced that in addition to the DCFS line item veto reductions of $44,783,270 made by Governor Blagojevich an additional $25,947,970 would be withheld from child welfare agencies for a total budget reduction of $70,731,240.

“To meet their budget target, DCFS must cut heavily—at least 40%—from its specialized ‘Systems of Care’ budget which caters to children in foster care experiencing the fallout of trauma from their abuse or neglect,” said Anselmo.

Cuts to this specialized care could total $ 9 to 12 million, Anselmo estimates.

The DCFS budget cuts are heaped upon mental health and mental health-relied upon human services reductions imposed by Governor Blagojevich, totaling approximately $145 million:

  • $70 million—Department of Children and Family Services
  • $55 million—Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • $20 million—Division of Mental Health Services

“None of these services for children and families work in isolation from each other,” said Anselmo. “Vulnerable families often need mental health, substance abuse and foster care services—they are in many cases getting hit with triple whammies by the Governor’s cuts.”

Anselmo estimates nearly 53,000 people will be losing some form of mental health, substance abuse or foster care across Illinois.

“There is no vulnerable Illinois family reliant upon state care that will go unscathed,” said Anselmo. “It’s hard to get my mind around the loss of so much care to so many fragile families. It’s unprecedented.”

Anselmo noted that state government still has an option.

“The Governor and the legislative leaders still have the option to fix the budget problem and restore the money through a supplemental budget appropriation in the next few weeks,” said Anselmo. “However, waiting until November will be too late for many of our children, mothers, dads, and residents of our communities.”

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