YouTube: IADDA Pushes for 5¢-a-Drink Alcohol Tax Increase in Illinois

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

The bill, HB 4557, sponsored by State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), 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 states 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).

Governor Restores $55 Million for Alcohol, Drug Treatment

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois’ leading state alcohol and drug treatment advocates today congratulated Governor Rod Blagojevich for restoring $55 million to the state’s alcohol and drug treatment budget.

On November 20, the Governor signed legislation SB 1103 which would restore $55 million to state addiction treatment services for Fiscal Year 2009 and restore care to 42,000 people across Illinois.

  • Addiction treatment services were fully restored in the amount of $55,144,500.  In addition toaddiction treatment services, several other programs and services were restored.
  • Mental Health funds were fully restored in the amount of $8,851,200. Included in this amount was $4,285,000 for Supportive MI Housing.
  • Developmental Disabilities funds were fully restored in the amount of $1,094,800.  In addition, $28,100,000 was restored for preventing rate reductions in ICF’s for MR programs, rate and service reductions in fee-for-service programs, and funding cuts in grant funded programs.
  • Under Community Health funds, Domestic Violence Shelters and Services Programs were fully restored in the amount of  $236,600.  Teen Parent Services in the amount of $143,300.

“We congratulate Governor Blagojevich for his action to restore the addiction treatment money to the

Governor Rod Blagojevich

Governor Rod Blagojevich

budget,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Thousands of lives will be saved from the scourge of substance abuse addiction.”

On July 9, Blagojevich cut $55 million from addiction treatment services and also line-item vetoed money from specific programs: victims of domestic violence, women returning from incarceration, youth treatment, youth in the court system, and women receiving federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families who require treatment to be employed.

The General Assembly approved overwhelmingly the supplemental budget in September.

Fiscal Year 2009 ends on June 30, 2009.