Governor Pat Quinn Signs Budget Bill to Restore $28 Million to Illinois Substance Abuse Treatment Services

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn yesterday signed legislation that restores $28 million to Illinois substance abuse treatment services that were cut inadvertently earlier this year.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2412, reallocated money within the current Illinois budget to reinstate the treatment funding.

“We are thankful to Governor Quinn for signing the measure into law,” said Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe.

The following budget line items were restored:

  • Addiction Treatment Medicaid: $7.6M
  • Addiction Treatment Services: $16.9M
  • Addiction Treatment for DCFS Clients: $2M
  • Addiction Treatment for Special Populations: $1.5M

The bill also includes $30 million for community-based mental health services, mental health centers, burial services for the homeless and the poor, homelessness prevention programs, and need-based financial aid for college students.

Finally, the legislation will ensure that no state-run mental health or developmental disability centers will be closed this fiscal year.

“The tireless advocacy efforts of IADDA and its member agencies were key to achieve this significant victory,” said Howe. “And the leadership and the commitment of State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz and State Senator Heather Steans were absolutely central in the successful restoration.”

The current state budget runs until June 30, 2012.

Illinois Legislature Restores $28 Million to Illinois Substance Abuse Treatment Services

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois Senate tonight passed legislation that restores $28 million to Illinois substance abuse treatment services. Earlier this evening, the Illinois House passed the measure.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2412, which reallocated money within the current Illinois budget, now moves to Governor Pat Quinn‘s desk.

“Governor Quinn is expected to sign the measure into law,” said Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe.

The following budget line items were restored:

  • Addiction Treatment Medicaid: $7.6M
  • Addiction Treatment Services: $16.9M
  • Addiction Treatment for DCFS Clients: $2M
  • Addiction Treatment for Special Populations: $1.5M

The bill also includes $30 million for community-based mental health services, mental health centers, burial services for the homeless and the poor, homelessness prevention programs, and need-based financial aid for college students.

Finally, the legislation will ensure that no state-run mental health or developmental disability centers will be closed this fiscal year.

“The tireless advocacy efforts of IADDA and its member agencies were key to achieve this significant victory,” said Howe. “And the leadership and the commitment of State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz and State Senator Heather Steans were absolutely central in the successful restoration.”

The current state budget runs until June 30, 2012.

Speaker Madigan Says Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence Are Top Budget Priorities Next Year

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago)

(Rockford, IL) – In remarks made in Rockford last week, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) laid out his state budget priorities for next year, which include protecting key groups of vulnerable Illinois citizens.

“There are certain items I think should happen such as money for mental health, money for community service providers that deal with substance abuse, domestic violence, Madigan says, “But beyond that, we need some tough negotiating, because Illinois doesn’t have that much money to spend today.”

Madigan’s comments drew praise from the state’s leading substance abuse prevention and treatment advocacy group.

“After suffering more than a 50% reduction of state funding in the last few years, we welcome Speaker Madigan’s willingness to back substance abuse treatment services, which save the state money, and to draw a line in the sand against further budget cuts,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO, Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association.

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Fresh Round of Illinois Budget Cuts Shutter Substance Abuse Treatment Services in Central Illinois

IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe

(Springfield, IL) – Another punishing round of Illinois state government budget cuts to substance abuse treatment services approved by the legislature in May, averaging 26%, is triggering program closures and employee layoffs in Central Illinois.

“Though the Illinois General Assembly restored 75% of the substance abuse cuts proposed by Governor Pat Quinn, the 25% cut approved by lawmakers is still forcing program closures and employee layoffs,” said Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe.

The Illinois fiscal year 2012 budget signed by Quinn, which began on July 1, reduces state funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment from $63 million in fiscal year 2011 to $47 million this year. In fact, over the past five years state funding has declined from $112 million to $47 million, according to Howe.

The latest round of budget cuts has forced the recent announcements of planned closures of treatment programs in both Champaign and Peoria.

The Urbana-based Prairie Center closed its detox program, which serves individuals from 62 Illinois counties, on September 1, eliminating service to 700 to 800 people and laying off 7 employees. The Illinois Department of Human Services, led by Secretary Michelle Saddler, cut $450,000 from The Prairie Center’s budget this year.

“Hospitals and emergency rooms will also be notified regarding the impact of these cuts,” said Bruce Suardini, The Prairie Center CEO. “Between 700 and 800 patients will lose services each year.”

In Peoria, the Human Services Center is closing its women’s residential treatment program, eliminating capacity for 125 women annually and laying off 27 employees on September 23, 11 of whom will come from the women’s program. Saddler’s agency cut $2,000,000 from the Human Services Center budget this year.

“It’s shameful that the State is limiting access to treatment for women in need and turning them out of their shelter” said CEO Fred Nirdé.

Howe is calling on the governor and top human service budget lawmakers to restore funding to this year’s budget for substance abuse prevention and treatment.

“Governor Quinn and State Representative Sara Feigenholtz and State Senator Heather Steans need to restore funding to prevention and treatment services as soon as possible to avoid the piece-meal collapse of an Illinois behavioral health care system that is already in shambles,” said Howe.

Gov. Pat Quinn Rescinds Proposed Elimination of Illinois Alcohol, Drug Treatment Funding

(Springfield, IL) – March 10, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn’s Administration yesterday announced that it had rescinded the proposed elimination of all state funding for non-Medicaid substance abuse prevention and treatment services.

“This afternoon, I received a call from Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Michelle Saddler informing me that the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget has recommended no additional state revenue reductions from addiction treatment in FY11, leaving all provider contracts unchanged for the rest of the year,” said Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe.

Secretary Saddler stressed, however, that this recommendation does include the projected savings of $7 million of Medicaid funding that DASA believes they can achieve through the implementation of Utilization Management, according to Howe.

“This funding decision means that providers who had frozen admissions for DASA-funded clients should be able to starting accepting new clients as early as today,” said Howe.

On the prevention front, the Secretary indicated that the ‘addiction prevention’ line will not be cut any further in FY11, but that the governor’s budget office is still looking at possible reductions in the Methamphetamine Awareness line, says Howe.

“The Secretary will update me once a decision has been made,” said Howe.

“As an Association, we have successfully educated legislators and the news media alike on the impact of the full elimination of state GRF funding for our services,” said Howe.

“Nevertheless, we still have much work to do on Governor Quinn’s FY12 budget, which also calls for elimination of state funding for prevention and treatment services.”

“In the meantime, we must thank State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, Senator Mattie Hunter and other lawmakers who were crucial to the restoration of funding for addiction health care.”

Illinois House Panel to Hold Vote on Resolution Calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to Halt Drug Treatment Funding Elimination

 

An Illinois House legislative panel is slated to hold a vote this week on a House resolution calling on Governor Pat Quinn to halt a plan by his administration to eliminate all state funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment services.

State Reps. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Greg Harris (D-Chicago) at a recent press conference calling for a halt on drug treatment funding elimination.

(Springfield, IL) –

The measure, House Resolution 106, which is being sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and 34 other Democratic and Republican lawmakers, faces a vote in the House Human Services Committee on Wednesday, March 9.

On Friday, February 18, Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Michelle Saddler unexpectedly informed Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe that all state funding for non-Medicaid alcohol and drug prevention and treatment services would be eliminated by March 15. The move was part of an effort by the Quinn Administration to cut $208 million from the department’s budget, prompting providers to halt services to new clients

After an outcry by prevention and treatment advocates, Quinn reduced the department’s budget cut from $208 million to $100 million to avoid a complete elimination of state funded substance abuse prevention and treatment services. However, the uncertainly of the actual amount to be cut in the next two weeks has prompted some treatment providers to continue their service freeze on new clients.

“Governor Quinn has refused to say equivocally that substance abuse prevention and treatment services are no longer slated for elimination for the remainder of the fiscal year,” said Howe. “That’s why we think that the House Human Services Committee must approve Rep. Feigenholtz’s resolution.”

Quinn’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which begins on July 1, 2011, has also targeted state funding for substance prevention and treatment for complete elimination. That move would end alcohol and drug treatment for 55,000 out of the 69,000 people helped in Illinois each year.

“Governor Quinn has already sent a clear signal that he thinks that 55,000 people in treatment are disposable,” said Howe. “That’s why were looking to the legislature to ensure that that the governor’s pledge ‘everybody in, nobody left out when it comes to building a better Illinois’ is honored.”

The hearing will be held in the Stratton Office Building, Room D-1, in Springfield at 8:00 a.m.

In addition to Feigenholtz, the resolution’s sponsors included State Representatives:

Chad Hays, Patricia R. Bellock, Keith Farnham, Daniel Biss, Mary E. Flowers, La Shawn K. Ford, Robyn Gabel, Lou Lang, Maria Antonia Berrios, Esther Golar, Greg Harris, Constance A. Howard, David R. Leitch, Rita Mayfield, Michael W. Tryon, Linda Chapa LaVia, Thomas Holbrook, Deborah Mell, Naomi D. Jakobsson, Michael P. McAuliffe, Jim Watson, Patrick J. Verschoore, Dave Winters, Robert W. Pritchard, Ann Williams, Jack McGuire, William Davis, Lisa M. Dugan, Mark H. Beaubien, Jr., Dennis M. Reboletti, Karen A. Yarbrough, Daniel J. Burke, Annazette Collins and Dan Brady.

Uncertainty over Gov. Pat Quinn’s Mid-Year Budget Cuts Freezes Drug Treatment for New Clients around Illinois

State Reps. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Greg Harris (D-Chicago) announced at a press conference last week that they are sponsoring House Resolution 106 that calls on Governor Pat Quinn to halt the elimination of funding for substance abuse treatment services.

(Springfield, IL) — Despite Governor Pat Quinn’s statement last week that mid-year budget cuts announced earlier by the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) would be reduced to avoid a complete elimination of state funded substance abuse prevention and treatment services, the uncertainly of the actual amount to be cut in the next two weeks has prompted some treatment providers to refuse new clients.

“While we appreciate Governor Quinn’s good intentions,” said Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe. “We are not out of the woods yet, because multiple providers around Illinois, who are fearful of the magnitude of still unspecified cuts, have frozen treatment services for new, non-Medicaid eligible clients.”

On Friday, February 18, DHS Secretary Michelle Saddler suddenly informed Howe that all state funding for non-Medicaid alcohol and drug treatment services would be eliminated by March 15 as part of an effort of the Quinn Administration to cut $208 million from the department’s budget, prompting providers to halt the intake of new clients.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) opposed the cuts, saying, “It’s not the right move.”

Quinn later reduced the amount to $100 million after advocates protested and more than two-dozen lawmakers, lead by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), introduced a House resolution calling on Quinn to cancel the cuts that would eliminate treatment services for 55,000 clients out of the 69,000 currently being served.

“Neither Governor Quinn nor Secretary Saddler have yet identified where the $100 million in cuts will fall,” said Howe. “As a result, the mid-year budget crisis remains unresolved and a freeze on accepting new clients is in place in various parts of the state, denying treatment for those desperately seeking it.”

Howe noted that the Haymarket Center in Chicago currently has a freeze on new, non-Medicaid eligible clients. The South Suburban Council in suburban East Hazel Crest is operating below capacity, accepting only a few new clients. Meanwhile, the Prairie Center in Urbana is also accepting only a trickle of new clients for residential treatment, leaving 12 of its 24 beds empty, until they learn the magnitude of the cuts to be announced within the next two weeks.

“The uncertainty is as harmful as the cuts themselves because of the disruption of services,” said Howe. “We need both predictable and adequate funding to keep treatment services flowing.”

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.”

As Pat Quinn Readies Budget Cuts, Drug, Alcohol Treatment Advocates Commend Governor for Making Health Care a Priority

(Springfield, IL) — As Governor Pat Quinn prepares to implement the new Illinois budget sent to him by the Illinois General Assembly, drug and alcohol prevention and treatment advocates are commending Quinn for his priority to protect health care.

“We commend Governor Quinn for making health care a budget priority,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “To make health care priority a priority, we urge the Governor to protect funding for addiction health care services.”

Governor Quinn’s original budget for the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse within the Illinois Department of Human Services, headed by Secretary Michelle Saddler, had planned to slash Illinois drug and alcohol treatment for more than 2,500 Illinois residents, including 1,000 women.

Since 1995, the number of Illinois women in drug, alcohol has surged 41%, Illinois women need more help, not less,” said Howe. “We want Governor Quinn avoid cuts to addiction health care services that will fall on women.”

Proposed budget cuts this year for community prevention and treatment providers would be on a top a 22% cut last year.

“Relentless budget cuts are forcing the Illinois addiction healthcare system into a death spiral and women are increasingly suffering the brunt of the budget pain,” said Howe.

In FY 2009, there 89,909 individuals receiving treatment services, down from 101,105 in FY 2008, a 11.6% decrease.

Quinn Budget to Eliminate 2,500 People—Including 1,000 Women—from Drug, Alcohol Treatment

(Springfield, IL) – As Illinois lawmakers work to assemble a final Illinois budget, substance abuse prevention and treatment advocates today urged legislators to reverse the budget cuts proposed by Governor Pat Quinn that will slash Illinois drug and alcohol treatment for more than 2,500 Illinois residents, including 1,000 women.

“Governor Quinn’s cuts to the Illinois addiction healthcare system will eliminate care for more than 2,500 people, 1,000 of whom are women,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Lawmakers need to reverse the cuts.”

Since 1995, the number of Illinois women in drug, alcohol has surged 41%, but Quinn this year is still cutting treatment services by 8%, which will toss more than 2,500 out of treatment, of whom nearly 1,000 are women.

Quinn’s budget cuts the Illinois Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse budget for community treatment providers and funds for addiction prevention for community prevention providers are on a top a 22% cut last year.

“Relentless budget cuts are forcing the Illinois addiction healthcare system into a death spiral and women are increasingly suffering the brunt of the budget pain,” said Howe.

In FY 2009, there 89,909 individuals receiving treatment services, down from 101,105 in FY 2008, a 11.6% decrease.

“By further strangling the drug treatment system, threats to public safety will boil over,” said Howe.

In 2009, a resurgent heroin crisis killed more than 100 people in Northern Illinois alone, a crisis that is zeroing in on local teens. Meanwhile, Quinn’s proposed budget will eliminate drug prevention for more than 1,000 youth.

“The threat to public safety is not a hypothetical threat,” said Howe. “There are young people whose lives will be sacrificed to heroin because of prevention funding cuts.”

“We urge Speaker Michael Madigan, Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, Minority Leader Christine Radogno and Governor Quinn to adopt a budget to salvage addiction healthcare in Illinois.”