CBHA News Weblog

Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

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  • RSS llinois General Assembly News

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Archive for June, 2009

Illinois Doomsday Budget: Governor Quinn Needs to End Illinois Mental Health, Substance Abuse Treatment Cuts – Now

Posted by Frank Anselmo on June 29, 2009

MEMORANDUM

Date:     6/29/09
From     Frank Anselmo, CEO, Community Behavioral Healthcare Association
To:         Jerome Stermer, Chief of Staff, Governor Pat Quinn

Oblivious to the lives at risk, Illinois Department Human Services (DHS) staff are pressuring community mental health providers, repeatedly reminding them to sign the draconian cut contracts they received Monday and Tuesday and return those contracts to DHS before 5:00 pm on June 30, 2009

As service providers remind the state employees that they have until Tuesday to get the Illinois doomsday budget contracts in and–that lives are at stake–the DHS staff keep up the pressure up by saying “we [DHS] hope we’d get them back early”.

This has to stop.

Last Thursday, on the same day DHS said that they have no post July 1, 2009 transition plans, DHS-Division of Mental Heath network managers are sending this “reminder” days after providers received the draconian cuts:

“I have been notified that your FY 10 contract signature page has not yet
been received by the OCA. THE CONTRACT SIGNATURE PAGE MUST BE
RETURNED BY June 30, 2009 or SERVICES MAY NOT BE PERFORMED July 1, 2009.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel to contact me.”

In order to save thousands of lives in Illinois, Governor Quinn should instruct DHS Secretary Carol Adams to immediately issue continuation contracts with no cuts in community mental health funding and substance abuse treatment funding.

This action is easy, can be done quickly and is needed to save lives across the state.

The lack of an Illinois budget, a typical situation for many years, does not have to result in the loss of lives in our communities. Governor Quinn does not have to decree that cost-cutting in our communities must begin immediately.  Continuation contracting is the option while budget negotiations continue.

The discontinuation of community mental health care and substance abuse treatment has already started. And it will snowball. And the snowball quickly morph into an avalanche that buries 160,000 mothers, children and adults in community mental health care and over 60,000 receiving community alcohol and substance recovery treatment to be discontinued.

Community providers have been informed that they can not do business with the state unless their contracts containing cuts from 25 to 100 percent are signed and returned on Tuesday. The Governor’s office has other options. The working poor their children do not.

We have no place to refer these individuals seeking care that contract cuts have triggered:

  • The closure of care to new individuals seeking care by community care providers
  • The termination of care to Illinois’ most vulnerable children, women, men and families
  • The furloughs and layoffs for community care staff

In order to maintain civil discourse, let me close by stating: the draconian contracts were not fair or ethical. If cost cutting needs to be done, I urge Governor Quinn to ensure that whatever “pain” is necessary in terms of cost cutting be shared among all areas of government spending–not for the most vulnerable among us.

Sincerely,

Frank Anselmo, CEO
June 29, 2009

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Pat Quinn Should Not Sign Illinois Doomsday Budget, Mental Health Advocates Urge

Posted by Frank Anselmo on June 16, 2009

(Springfield, IL) — Governor Pat Quinn should not sign the Illinois Doomsday budget approved by the Illinois General Assembly on May 31, Illinois’ leading mental health advocates today urged.

“Increasing teen suicides, abandoning recovering mothers onto the street, and jailing the mentally ill are the

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

outcomes that the legislature’s budget offers,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois. Governor Quinn needs to clearly state he won’t sign the ‘Doomsday budget'”.

The legislature appropriated only 50% of last year’s budget to several state department for the coming fiscal year that begins on July 1.

As a result, the new budget guts human services, including mental health care and substance abuse treatment.

  • 175,000 people will lose community mental health services, dramatically increasing homelessness, institutionalization and incarceration rates.
  • 65,000 people with alcohol and substance addictions will lose treatment.

However, Anselmo noted that the legislature’s budget fully funds certain areas of state government operations and programs:

  • All state employee payroll costs, including funds for minimum 4% salary increases for union employees.
  • All Medicaid grants for Physicians, Hospitals and Nursing Homes.
  • All operation costs for public universities and community colleges.  Spending in these areas actually was increased.
  • Elementary and secondary education grants such as general state aid and special education.  Funding in these areas increases from last year.

Governor Pat Quinn and top legislative leaders–House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno–have been meeting regularly to seek solutions to the budget impasse. They meet again tomorrow.

The governor could instruct agencies to continue operating at current levels leaving lawmakers to agree on an income tax increase later this year, Anselmo says.

Leaders Radogno and Cross have said reforms and more cuts need to be agreed to before raising taxes.

At the moment, the doomsday budget (50% GRF in a lump sum for state departments) will not be sent to the Governor.  President Cullerton filed a motion to reconsider the vote on Senate Bill 1197–the budget bill, and Cullertons’ motion prevents the bill from being sent to the Governor at this time.

Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics, Illinois Substance Abuse Treatment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Pat Quinn to Get Budget that Eliminates Mental Health Care for 175,000 Illinois Residents – Maybe

Posted by Frank Anselmo on June 2, 2009

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois General Assembly approved a doomsday budget on May 31.

The legislature appropriated only 50% of last year’s budget to state department for the coming fiscal year that begins on July 1.

Governor Pat Quinn

Governor Pat Quinn

As a result, the new budget guts human services, including mental health care and substance abuse treatment.

  • 175,000 people will lose community mental health services, dramatically increasing homelessness, institutionalization and incarceration rates.
  • 65,000 people with alcohol and substance addictions will lose treatment.

Governor Pat Quinn and top legislative leaders–House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno–emerged from their meeting on Monday and announced they plan to hold more meetings on Thursday. They gave non-specific responses to questions about solutions to the budget impasse.

Governor Quinn said:

  • He would not sign the 50% GRF spending plan passed by lawmakers (at this time).
  • Social service providers would be notified later of “the possible consequences” of 50% funding.
  • He didn’t rule out signing the $30 billion capital bill–he had earlier said his signature was linked to passage of a balanced budget.
  • The “whole idea” of future meetings was to reach a balanced budget.

None of the legislative leaders said there was a time-line.  The governor could instruct agencies to continue operating at current levels leaving lawmakers to agree on an income tax increase later this year.

Leaders Radogno and Cross have said reforms and more cuts need to be agreed to before raising taxes.

At the moment, the doomsday budget (50% GRF in a lump sum for state departments) will not be sent to the Governor.  President Cullerton filed a motion to reconsider the vote on Senate Bill 1197–the budget bill, and Cullertons’ motion prevents the bill from being sent to the Governor at this time.

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