CBHA News Weblog

Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

Posts Tagged ‘Speaker Michael Madigan’

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.

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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

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

Mental Health Advocates in Springfield, Urge Illinois Lawmakers to Oppose ‘Sweep’ of Mental Health Care Money

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 16, 2008

(Springfield, IL) — More than 200 mental health advocates came to Springfield on Wednesday asking legislators to forbid Governor Rod Blagojevich from sweeping away existing mental health care money and to ask for more money fund to mental health programs.

Advocates from Stepping Stones and Janet Wattles Center were among 55 people who traveled from Rockford to lobby the Illinois General Assembly.

“The reason we’re here is because treatment works — if we can get it,” said Mark Heyrman, a prominent mental health advocate in Illinois. “In order to have treatment, you have to have money to provide the treatment.”

Heyrman said mental health agencies need the dedicated mental health money to care for thousands of mentally ill individuals and it should not be used to plug a hole in this year’s budget.

The Senate has approved a bill, S.B. 530, to empower the governor to sweep $530 million from dedicated funds into the operating budget. Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), said, however, the House has no plan to vote on the legislation.

Meanwhile, Frank Anselmo, left, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, expressed concern that $10 million appropriated in this year’s budget for mental health care has gone unspent by the state.

But Kelley Quinn, spokeswoman for the governor, said the money is being allocated to agencies.

“Nothing is being held,” she said. “It’s not like it’s just sitting there.”

Quinn said there might have been a delay because the budget for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, was not finalized until last fall.

The money remains in a special account managed by the Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes.

“It’s unspent,” said Anselmo.

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