CBHA News Weblog

Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

Posts Tagged ‘Sara Feigenholtz’

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.”

Advertisements

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

Feigenholtz, Winters Push “5¢ a Drink” Illinois Alcohol Tax Hike to Rescue Mental Health Care, Drug Treatment

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 19, 2009

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois’ leading drug treatment and mental health advocates today unveiled legislation at a Springfield press conference that increases the Illinois’s alcohol tax by 5¢ a drink to help fund state human services and reduce drinking.

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago)

The bill, HB 4557, sponsored by State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Dave Winters (R-Shirland), would raise $254 million for cash-strapped Illinois and boost addiction healthcare services by $140 million and mental health care services by $92 million and the remaining $22 million would be deposited in the state’s general revenue fund—its daily checkbook.

“A nickel-a-drink increase will raise $254 million to help offset the state budget deficit and provide critical investments to addiction healthcare services,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA).

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

“Without a financial rescue, without $92 million invested in community mental health care, more than 45,000 will lose mental health services by June 30, 2010 according to our new survey,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association.

“Illinois’ chronically under funded addiction and mental health care services need dedicated money from an alcohol tax to maintain care and taxpayers need to know their money is being wisely spent,” said Feigenholtz, Chair of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee and a state budget negotiator, who noted Governor Pat Quinn’s budget cuts the programs further.

“Instead of throwing these services a lifeline, Governor Quinn’s budget throws then an anchor,” said

State Rep. Dave Winters (R-Shirland)

State Rep. Dave Winters (R-Shirland)

Feigenholtz.

The nickel-a-drink tax would be applied on wholesale alcohol by the gallon that is distributed as packaged beer, wine, or distilled spirits to stores or as beverages purchased at bars, restaurants, and hotels.

A “drink” is 12 oz of beer (bottle), 5 oz of wine (glass), and 1.5 oz of liquor (1.5 shots). Using this definition, a nickel-a-drink tax would add 30 cents per six-pack of beer, 25 cents per bottle of wine, and 85 cents per 750 ml bottle of liquor.

In addition to funding state addiction prevention, treatment and mental health services, the nickel-a-drink would reduce drinking consumption by five million gallons or 2 percent annually. The estimated drop in consumption would be up to 3.94% for beer and cider, 2.5% for wine, and 6.76% for spirits

State Rep. Naomi Jakobbson (D-Champaign)

State Rep. Naomi Jakobbson (D-Champaign)

“We will reduce the probability of accidents among adults and youth alike,” said Howe.

Howe noted alcohol abuse and drunk driving continue to exact a terrible, deadly toll on youth and children in communities throughout Illinois.

She pointed to the most recent media reports of drug and alcohol-related driving tragedies which reinforce the need for adequate addiction healthcare funding.

  • February 5 Edwardsville, IL – “A wrong-way driver whose license was yanked several times for alcohol-related offenses caused the crash early today that killed two adults and a boy and left an 11-year-old girl hospitalized.
  • February 17 Johnsburg, IL –“Police are investigating who provided alcohol to a 17-year-old Johnsburg High School student who froze to death after a minor car accident last month.
  • February 18 Elgin, IL – “The blood-alcohol level of an Elgin teen who crashed into a house last fall, killing his passenger, was nearly three times the legal limit for driving, police said…

Howe also noted an Illinois Department of Human Services study revealed that in 2006 nearly 40 percent of Illinois 12th graders had ridden in a car with a drunk or high teenager in the last year and 30 percent had the same experience with a drunk or high adult.

Illinois last raised the alcohol tax in 1999 and before that in 1969.

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago)

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago)

Joining Feigenholtz as co-sponsors of the legislation are State Representatives: Deborah Mell (D-Chicago),  Greg Harris (D-Chicago), Kathy Ryg (D-Vernon Hills), Esther Golar (D-Chicago), Naomi Jakobbson (D-Champaign).

Advocates are also looking to gain Governor Quinn’s support for the nickel-a-drink tax increase to reverse his initial budget cuts.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the final state budget by their scheduled May 31 adjournment.

A simple majority of lawmakers is required to pass a budget if voted on or before May 31. If after May 31, a 3/5th super-majority would be needed to approve the annual state spending plan.

Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Drug Treatment, Illinois Mental Health Care | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »