CBHA News Weblog

Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

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Archive for the ‘Illinois Budget’ Category

Governor Pat Quinn’s Budget Will Eliminate Mental Health Care for 70,000, Including 4,200 Children, Illinois Budget Documents Reveal

Posted by Frank Anselmo on April 8, 2010

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed state budget for next year will eliminate basic mental health services for more than 72,000 individuals, including 4,200 children in Illinois next year, according to the state’s own estimates.

“Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed budget is telling mental health providers to toss more than 70,000 individuals, including 4,200 children, into the wood chipper. And we won’t do it,” said Community Behavioral Healthcare Association CEO Frank Anselmo.

According to the budget briefing conducted last month by Illinois Department of Human Service Secretary Michelle Saddler, the state budget for community mental health services decreased $90.7 million from last year. The $90.7 million reduction represents a 23.6% cut which eliminate care for 72,300 individuals currently receiving care across Illinois.

Anselmo offers a statewide breakdown of the loss of care for 72,300 individuals:

  • 28,197—Chicago
  • 14,460—Suburban Cook
  • 8,876—Collar Counties
  • 3,616—Northwest Illinois
  • 6,507—Central Illinois
  • 10,644—Southern Illinois

Among those losing mental health care, more than 4,000 individuals on the road to recovery will be displaced from existing community-based residential settings, with most transferred into nursing homes.

Mark Heyrman

However, such a transfer would threaten the state’s ability to comply with terms of a proposed consent decree settling a federal lawsuit involving some 4,500 mentally ill nursing home residents, according to Anselmo

“Simply put, the state is making a promise it cannot keep,” said Anselmo.

In the proposed federal consent decree the state pledges, over the next five years, to reevaluate the treatment currently provided to residents of two dozen nursing homes designated as “institutions for mental illness” and to relocate those wishing to leave those facilities into smaller community-based settings.

“On the one hand,” Anselmo said, “the state proposes to virtually destroy the existing infrastructure, while on the other it vows to expand treatment options.”

“It’s budget madness—and it is a budget that does not work,” said Anselmo. “Governor Quinn and lawmakers need to go back to square one and design a budget that meets needs of residents and the state’s legal promises to a federal court.”

Mark Heyrman, a University of Chicago Law School Professor and Chair of Public Policy for Mental Health America of Illinois, agreed that the budget proposal seemed to contradict the promises made in the proposed consent decree.

“What the state pledges to do in the consent decree, its FY 2011 budget proposal will undo and deliver the exact opposite result.”

“In the coming weeks, our plea is for the General Assembly to reshape the state budget proposal in order to avoid a $90 million cut to mental health services and to approve legislation, HB 5326, that creates a plan to move mentally ill from nursing homes into community settings,” said Anselmo.

The legislation is sponsored by State Representatives: Esther Golar (D), Karen May (D), Paul Froehlich (D), Dan Beiser (D), Harry Osterman (D), Elizabeth Hernandez (D), Sara Feigenholtz (D) and Beth Coulson (R). 

“Reversal of the $90 million cut will rescue care for more than 70,000 people and help 4,500 individuals leave nursing homes for more appropriate community settings.”

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Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Nursing Homes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Governor Pat Quinn’s Budget Cuts to Mental Health Imperils Consent Decree to Move Mentally Ill Out of Illinois Nursing Homes

Posted by Frank Anselmo on March 26, 2010

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

(Springfield, IL) — March 26, 2010. The Community Behavioral Healthcare Association warned today that passage of Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed FY 2011 budget for the Illinois’s Department of Mental Health would threaten the state’s ability to comply with terms of a proposed consent decree settling a federal lawsuit involving some 4,500 mentally ill nursing home residents.

“Simply put, the state is making a promise it cannot keep,” CBHA CEO Frank Anselmo told a news conference prior to a Friday afternoon meeting of CBHA’s over 70 member agencies.

In the proposed consent decree the state pledges, over the next five years, to reevaluate the treatment currently provided to residents of two dozen nursing homes designated as “institutions for mental illness” and to relocate those wishing to leave those facilities into smaller community-based settings.

At the same time, in the proposed FY 2011 budget, DMH estimates that over 70,000, including 4,200 children, will lose access to basic mental health services and, most importantly, over 4,000 will be displaced from existing community-based residential settings, with most transferred into nursing homes.

“On the one hand,” Anselmo said, “the state proposes to virtually destroy the existing infrastructure, while on the other it vows to expand treatment options.”

“Once deconstructed in FY 2011, the state cannot,” he asserted, “pledge to reconstruct a bigger, better system over the following four years.”

Instead, CBHA urged passage of Senate Bill 3402, the Community Behavioral Health Center Infrastructure Act, which would establish a vehicle for the state to provide capital grants to community mental health and substance abuse treatment providers to assist them with their infrastructure needs.

The legislation is sponsored by Democratic State Senators:  Jeff Schoenberg, Michael Noland, William Delgado, Maggie Crotty, Susan Garrett, Martin Sandoval, Tony Muñoz, Iris Martinez and Emil Jones, III.

Anselmo was joined by Mark Heyrman, a University of Chicago Law School Professor and Chair of Public Policy for Mental Health America of Illinois, who agreed that the budget proposal seemed to contradict the promises made in the proposed consent decree.

“I said last week that the decree marked a very happy day for everyone who cares about persons with mental illness in Illinois,” Heyrman recalled, “but a passage of the DMH budget as proposed will mark a very unhappy day for those suffering from mental illness and those who care for and about them.”

“What the state pledges to do in the consent decree, “he added, “its FY 2011 budget proposal delivers virtually the exact opposite result.”

“In the coming weeks,” Anselmo concluded, “the General Assembly is likely to reshape the budget proposal.”

“CBHA member agencies urge members of the House and Senate to dramatically revise the DMH budget, mindful of the terms of the proposed consent decree, and pass SB 3402 to facilitate its implementation.”

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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 »

Our View: Quinn, Lawmakers Must Deliver Rescue to Prevent 45,000 Illinois Residents from Losing Mental Health Care, Drug Treatment

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 19, 2009

Without a $92 million state financial rescue, mental health care and drug treatment services will be lost for more than 45,000 Illinois residents—by June 30, 2010.

Essentially, the Illinois mental health care and drug treatment system is in a slow motion bankruptcy because of the failure of the state of Illinois to adequately fund care.

A survey by the Community Behavioral Health Care Association of Illinois reveals that drug treatment and mental health care for 16,612 Illinois residents—9,625 children—will be eliminated and care another 29,812 Illinois residents—16,387 adults and 13,425 children—will be reduced during the next 12 months.

Mental health and drug treatment advocates are seeking a $93 million financial rescue from the state to staunch the loss of care.

Illinois political leaders must use available federal government money or other new state revenues to avert an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

This loss of care can still be avoided if Governor Pat Quinn, Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno commit the political will and the money to a rescue of behavioral healthcare as they finalize the state budget before May 31.

If they fail to stage the $93 million financial rescue, then more than 45,000 Illinois residents—of whom 25,000 of whom are children–will lose behavioral healthcare.

Quinn, Madigan, Cross, Cullerton, and Radogno must hear from voters to take action.

Frank Anselmo, CEO, Community Behavioral Healthcare Association

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Without Financial Rescue, Mental Health Care, Drug Treatment for 16,000 Illinois Residents—9,600 Kids—Will be Eliminated, Survey Says

Posted by Frank Anselmo on April 20, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – Without tapping cash from dormant state health funds and a tax increase to stage a financial rescue, mental health care and drug treatment services will be eliminated for more than 16,000 Illinois residents—of which more than 9,600 are children—by June 30, 2010, according to a new survey of community behavioral health care providers in Illinois.

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Advocate Michelle Schneiderheinze discusses the reduced mental health care available to severely mentally ill children in Illinois.

Advocate Michelle Schneiderheinze discusses the reduced mental health care available to severely mentally ill children in Illinois.

Released at a press conference in Springfield today, the survey by the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois estimates that community providers—without any increased state funding—will eliminate care for 16,612 people—6,987 adults and 9,625 children between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, the end of the state’s next fiscal year.

“The Illinois mental health care and drug treatment system is in a slow motion bankruptcy because of the failure of the state to adequately fund care,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois.

“Without a financial rescue, providers will accelerate the elimination of care and for more than 16,000 Illinois men, women, and children will be without care by June 30, 2010,” said Anselmo. “The risk of teen suicide will rise without any question.”

The survey also reveals that another 29,812 Illinois residents—16,387 adults and 13,425 children—will face a reduction of existing mental health care and drug treatment June 30, 2010 due to state under-funding, according to Anselmo.

Diana Knaebe, President, Heritage Behavioral Health Center, Decatur, spoke at the press conference, noting that possibly 1,000 fewer people in the Macon County area would receive care due to underfunding.

Diana Knaebe, President, Heritage Behavioral Health Center, Decatur, spoke at the press conference, noting that possibly 1,000 fewer people in the Macon County area would receive care due to underfunding.

Advocates are seeking a $93 million financial rescue from the state to staunch the loss of care.

“The loss of care is an ongoing tragedy that can still be avoided if Governor Pat Quinn and lawmakers decide to use the dedicated but dormant money or provide new money from a tax increase,” said Anselmo.

Anselmo says a bi-partisan group of lawmakers are already pushing a plan to avoid the massive loss of care by drawing on the $35.3 million special health and mental health trust funds some of which have languished untapped for more than three years, and additional available federal dollars.

State Senators Jeff Schoenberg, Michael Noland, Dan Kotowski, William Delgado, Kimberly Lightford, Chris Lauzen, John Sullivan,

Chicago Tribune reporter Ray Long poses a question.

Chicago Tribune reporter Ray Long poses a question.

Don Harmon, Maggie Crotty, and David Koehler are sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 31 that calls on the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget to utilize the available funds from the Mental Health Medicaid Trust Fund to increase Medicaid rates for mental health and drug treatment providers.

“If Governor Quinn and lawmakers stage a $92.8 million financial rescue by drawing on idle mental health care money, available federal funds, or a tax increase, the state can rescue care for the more than 16,000 people,” said Anselmo.

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

C4 Client Spies Governor Blagojevich Jogging During Impeachment Vote, Joins Him in the Jog–and Plugs Funding for Mental Health Care

Posted by Frank Anselmo on January 21, 2009

(Chicago, IL) — Ayesha McClendon couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw a guy with a shaggy mane of hair running toward her on Lawrence Avenue last Thursday morning in Uptown.

Usually when you see someone running down the sidewalk like that in Uptown, you jump into a vestibule. You start walking in the opposite direction, so you don’t accidentally get hit in the head with a bag full of quarters, or a bullet.

Except the guy McClendon saw was Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was jogging back to Ravenswood Manor around the same time he was getting impeached by Illinois House representatives.

Read More …

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Advocates Urge Governor Blagojevich to Restore $79 Million for Mental Health Care, Alcohol, Drug Treatment

Posted by Frank Anselmo on November 4, 2008

(Chicago, IL) – During an October 15th rally at the State of Illinois Thompson Center in Chicago, state mental health advocates urged the Governor Rod Blagojevich to restore $79 million to the state’s mental health care and substance abuse treatment budgets.

“It is critical to our state’s health care system that Governor Blagojevich restore the $79 million to alcohol and drug treatment and mental health care that he cut earlier this year,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO, Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois.

Governor Blagojevich vetoed $63 million for mental health care and addiction treatment on July 9, and in August he administratively cut another $16 million from mental health care. Together the cuts total $79 million.

The Illinois House and Senate recently voted 113-0 and 55-0, respectively, to restore $63 million to state addiction treatment and to mental health care as part of a $219 million supplement budget bill (SB 1103). The legislature did not address the $16 million administratively eliminated.

The Governor has yet to act on the legislation.

“The Governor needs to restore immediately the $63 million approved by the legislature, and he needs to rescind the $16 million administrative cut,” said Anselmo. “There are more than 62,000 people—including thousand of children—around the state losing critical care. He must restore the money.”

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

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.”

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

Decatur Residents Raise Money to Help Save Homeless Day Shelter from Blagojevich Administration Funding Cuts

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 27, 2008

(Decatur, IL) — The looming financial crisis of Decatur’s Oasis Day Center, caused by Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s decision to slash funding to the homeless day shelter, has generated generous support from local residents.

A May 5 town meeting brought in $77,705, nearly half of what Oasis needs to offset a $160,000 cut in state funding for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The Decatur Club of AT&T Pioneers, a group of telecommunications employees and retirees who take on charitable project, presented a $500 check on Thursday.

The crisis was triggered after the Illinois Division of Mental Health said it would cut annual funding from $230,000 to $75,000 for the coming year.

So far donations have come from stock worth approximately $50,000, individuals giving $11,505, St. Mary’s Hospital $10,000, and local churches $5,700.

“We’ve heard from other churches who are planning to donate but don’t know yet what that will be,” said Diana Knaebe, president of Heritage Behavioral Health Center.

She added that half the proceeds from a premiere of a documentary film in Decatur next month could generate another $10,000 to $15,000.

The center serves 175 to 200 people daily.

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