House Panel Approves Feigenholtz Bill to Boost Drug, Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment by $74 Million; Quinn, Legislative Leaders Urged to Support Plan

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois House Appropriations Human Services Committee today approved 17-1 legislation to give a $74 million financial boost to community addiction treatment providers who are relentlessly confronting deadly accidents involving youth linked to alcohol or drugs.

“Alcohol abuse and drunk driving continue to exact a terrible, deadly toll on youth and children in communities throughout Illinois,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Substance abuse is recession-proof.”

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

“We are calling on Governor Pat Quinn, Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno to support State Rep. Feigenholtz’s legislation to invest an additional $74 million this year into under-funded state prevention and treatment services,” said Moscato-Howe.

“We recognize the state faces tough budget problems, but we can’t put a price tag saving peoples’ lives,” Moscato-Howe added.

Feigenholtz’s legislation, House Bill 3928, would appropriate an additional $18,100,000 to community based addiction treatment for Medicaid eligible individuals and KidCare enrolled children.  The legislation would also appropriate an additional $6,000,000 to expand addiction prevention services for youth..

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

“Youth are at risk from their own problems with substance abuse and the substance abuse problems of adults,” said Moscato-Howe. “That’s why the entire Illinois substance abuse treatment system needs the financial investment.”

“We are grateful to Rep. Feigenholtz and the members of the committee for their commitment to the battle against underage drinking and their support for prevention and treatment.”

Voting “yes” were State Representatives: Sara Feigenholtz, Harry Osterman, Rosemary Mulligan, Patricia Bellock, Beth Coulson, Keith Farnham, Jehan Gordon, Deborah Graham, Elizabeth Hernandez, Eddie Jackson, David Leitch, Deb Mell, Kathy Ryg, Angelo “Skip” Saviano, Tim Schmitz, Darlene Senger, Mark Walker, and Eddie Washington.

Voting “no” was State Represenative: Ron Stephens.

Quinn, Lawmakers Urged to Support $74 Million Schoenberg Plan to Boost Drug, Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment to Protect Youth

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois’ leading addiction healthcare advocates today called on Governor Pat Quinn and top lawmakers to support legislation to give a $74 million financial boost to community addiction

State Senator Jeff Schoenberg

State Senator Jeff Schoenbergprevention and treatment providers who are relentlessly confronting deadly accidents involving youth linked to alcohol or drugs.

“Alcohol abuse and drunk driving continue to exact a terrible, deadly toll on youth and children in communities throughout Illinois,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Addiction is recession-proof.”

“We are calling on Governor Pat Quinn, Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate

Senate President John Cullerton

Senate President John Cullerton

Minority Leader Christine Radogno to support Senator Jeff Schoenberg’s legislation to invest an additional $74 million this year into under-funded addiction healthcare services,” said Moscato Howe.

“We recognize the state faces tough budget problems, but we can’t put a price tag on saving peoples’ lives,” Moscato Howe added.

Schoenberg’s legislation, Senate Bill 1856, would appropriate an additional $18,100,000 to community based addiction treatment for Medicaid eligible individuals and KidCare enrolled children.  The legislation would also appropriate an additional $6,000,000 to expand addiction prevention services for youth.

The bill is currently in the Senate Assignment Appropriations I Committee.

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

“Illinois youth are at risk of harm and death by their alcohol and drug use and adults’ use too,” said Moscato Howe. “Governor Quinn and lawmakers must act now to increase investment in the addiction healthcare system. Saving lives must be a priority even in a recession”

“We urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to debate the risks faced by Illinois youth from drugs and alcohol and then approve the bill quickly,” said Moscato Howe.

The Senate Appropriations Committee includes: Senators Donne Trotter, Jeff Schoenberg, Jacqueline Collins, William Delgado, Mattie Hunter, Mike Jacobs, Emil Jones III, Matt Murphy, Pamela Althoff, Tim Bivins, Chris Lauzen, and Dave Syverson.

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.

IL Senate Votes to Restore $55 Million for Drug Treatment; Governor Urged to Approve Money

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois Senate yesterday voted to restore $55 million to the state’s alcohol and drug treatment budget which had been originally vetoed by Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The Senate voted, 55-0, to restore the $55 million to state addiction treatment services and to halt the elimination of care for 42,000 across Illinois as part of $219 million supplement budget bill (SB 1103) to restore other state programs and services also vetoed by the Governor.

The House voted, 113-3, last week to restore the money.

“The General Assembly’s action will restore drug treatment services to more than 42,000 people across the state,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Now, we urge the Governor to act swiftly to approve the legislature’s action.”

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 legislation now goes to the Governor’s desk for approval.

IL House Votes to Restore $55 Million for Drug Treatment; Senate Urged to Approve Plan

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois House yesterday voted unanimously to restore $55 million to the state’s alcohol and drug treatment budget which had been originally vetoed by Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The House voted 113-0 to restore the $55 million to state addiction treatment services and to halt the

Sara Moscato Howe, CEO, IADDA

Sara Moscato Howe, CEO, IADDA

elimination of care for 42,000 across Illinois as part of $219 million supplement budget bill (SB 1103) to restore other state programs and services also vetoed by the Governor.

“The House’s action will restore drug treatment services to more than 42,000 people across the state,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Now, we urge the Senate to act swiftly to approve the House’s action.”

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.

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago)

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago)

“It is critical to our state’s health care system that the Senate restore the $55 million to addiction treatment,” said State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “Therefore, I urge advocates and voters to convince the Senate to return to Springfield and to approve the money, too.”

Since the Governor’s budget veto was announced in July, treatment programs across the state have begun to eliminate services.

In suburban East Hazel Crest, Governor Blagojevich’s Administration eliminated $879,911 of a $4,273,054 grant to local treatment provider, South Suburban Council, which provides substance abuse treatment to more than 3,000 people each year.

“We will turn away approximately 600 South Suburban residents during the next year and 20,000 will soon be turned away across Cook County,” said Allen Sandusky, President of the South Suburban Council and Chairman of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association.

Sandusky noted that the Governor’s cuts also will trigger a loss of $55 million in federal matching funds, reducing the overall state addiction treatment budget by 43%. A 43% reduction will eliminate treatment for 42,140 people in Illinois out of 98,000 currently served, Sandusky estimates.

Meanwhile, Democratic State Senators Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), William Delgado (D-Chicago), Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago), and Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) had previously announced that they too favored the restoration the $55 million to the addiction treatment budget.