Gov. Pat Quinn’s Sudden Mid-Year Budget Cuts Trigger Plans to Discharge 55,000 Drug Treatment Clients, 5,000 Layoffs

(Springfield, IL) – On Friday, Illinois’ alcohol and drug prevention and treatment providers learned from Governor Pat Quinn’s administration that Quinn is eliminating all state funding for non-Medicaid drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services beginning on Tuesday, February 22, triggering provider plans to discharge 55,000 out of 69,000 drug and alcohol treatment clients and to lay off more than 5,000 private sector workers.

“Department of Human Services Secretary Michelle Saddler telephoned me on Friday morning to say that all state non-Medicaid funding, which covers 80% of our clients, is being eliminated and providers would be notified on Tuesday,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association, whose group backed Quinn’s successful effort to increase the income tax to protect Illinois Human Services.

“Governor Quinn had pushed to increase the income tax to save Illinois human services,” said Howe. “The Governor’s pledge to protect the most vulnerable in Illinois has been a cruel hoax.”

Though the contract cut notifications from Quinn will have a March 15 effective date, Howe says that date is arbitrary.

“The notices will contain an amended contract amount and the state will not approve any bill above that amount, making the March 15 date meaningless,” said Howe.

“Thus, the cuts begin on Tuesday and it will start triggering layoff notices and client discharges, creating multiple medical risks involved in the sudden disruption of a client’s addiction treatment,” stated Howe.

Howe said prevention and treatment advocates will once again turn to the legislature to protect the vulnerable and fragile men, women, children, and communities served

“In past funding crises, the legislative leaders–Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, Leader Tom Cross and Leader Christine Radogno–have championed our clients and demonstrated bi-partisanship in our behalf,” said Howe.

“Additionally, many rank-and-file Democratic and Republican lawmakers have supported the work we do, lawmakers such as: Representatives Sara Feigenholtz, Greg Harris, Deb Mell, Chapin Rose, Rosemary Mulligan, Patti Bellock, Jim Watson, Dennis Reboletti, and Senators Mattie Hunter, Heather Steans, Terry Link, A.J. Wilhelmi, Maggie Crotty, Chris Lauzen, Carole Pankau, and Kirk Dillard, and we are calling upon them for help,” said Howe.

In addition to the fiscal year 201180% mid-year budget cut, Quinn’s newly unveiled fiscal year 2012 budget also eliminates $55 million or 55% of state funding from the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse for prevention and treatment which will reduce the number people receiving treatment from 69,787 this year to 13,957 next year. As recently as fiscal year 2007, the state served 98,000 people.  Quinn’s proposed budget also eliminates addiction prevention services for 229,536 youth.

Currently, untreated addiction costs the State of Illinois $3.5 billion a year. Increases in health insurance rates, incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, domestic violence, on-the-job accidents, lost worker productivity, school drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, and traffic accidents and fatalities are all attributable to untreated addiction, says Howe.

“Crime rates, domestic violence incidents, and traffic accidents will explode across Illinois, starting next week,” said Howe. “Governor Quinn will have to answer for the consequences.”

“We urge the General Assembly to reverse Quinn’s callous cuts to the addiction healthcare system and prevent a doomsday that will decimate Illinois communities.”

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10 Comments

  1. I commend IADDA on the efforts that have been made since Friday, February 18, 2011, in response to this most devistating news. Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. stands in support of said efforts. Executive Director, Jessica Hayes, urges all members of IAODAPCA to contact their lawmakers. Please contact the IAODAPCA office for additional information and fact sheet. Again, many thanks to Chief Executive Officer, Howe for your efforts!

    Reply
  2. William Epperson

     /  February 23, 2011

    I think your ‘scare tactic’ numbers are unfairly skewed in favor of funded agencies to keep your membership dollars rolling in. What is your reliable source for publishing these numbers? In fact, the number of individuals in treatment on October 1 for any given year correlate with the number of DUI’s for the State. Coincidence or is the treatment industry in Illinois DUI driven?

    Reply
    • Sara Moscato Howe

       /  March 2, 2011

      Mr. Epperson,

      The data comes from the State of Illinois.

      Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  3. William Epperson

     /  February 23, 2011

    “Crime rates, domestic violence incidents, and traffic accidents will explode across Illinois, starting next week,” said Howe. “Governor Quinn will have to answer for the consequences.” (IADDA) This is really an absurd statement – Quinn does not and will not have to answer for an ‘intelligent move’!

    Reply
  4. Cindy Lovell

     /  February 23, 2011

    This is ridiculous. The money they think they will save will be spent on housing more criminals who couldn’t get help because we “supposedly” were making cuts to “save” money. It is ludicrus. This is not even mentioning the cost to the innocent who will be effected due to the lack of treatment. To lay off so many will throw their homes in limbo and add to an already downturned economy. Why not cut foolish spending on eccentric non essential things and on programs that do not effect so many people in such a broad way. I am deeply disappointed in our governer and his lack of foresight to see what this going to do to the citizens of the state of Illinoi.

    Reply
  5. Cindy Lovell

     /  February 23, 2011

    This is ridiculous. The money they think they will save will be spent on housing more criminals who couldn’t get help because we “supposedly” were making cuts to “save” money. It is ludicrus. This is not even mentioning the cost to the innocent who will be effected due to the lack of treatment. To lay off so many will throw their homes in limbo and add to an already downturned economy. Why not cut foolish spending on eccentric non essential things and on programs that do not effect so many people in such a broad way. I am deeply disappointed in our governer and his lack of foresight to see what this is going to do to the citizens of the state of Illinois.

    Reply
  6. Marquita Welch

     /  February 23, 2011

    I am appalled! Please keep us posted on anything we can do to help. I have shared your link on my Facebook.

    Reply
  7. We need to help our clients.

    Reply
  8. Kim Aponte

     /  February 26, 2011

    $1.00 for treatment v.s. $14.00 for healthcare, criminal justice and child welfare. Do the math. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see which is more fiscally responsible…

    Reply
  9. I work in West-Central Illinois in an area which is very rural. Our Prevention Staff has already served over 1500 unduplicated population. Most of these numbers are youth 10-17 years old. The total population does not give a complete picture of all we do.

    Reply

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