(Springfield, IL) – March 9, 2011. An Illinois House legislative panel today unanimously approved a House resolution calling on Governor Pat Quinn to halt a plan by his administration to eliminate all state funding for Illinois substance abuse prevention and treatment services.
The Illinois House Human Services Committee voted 11-0 to send the measure, House Resolution 106, to the full House for its consideration. The resolution is being sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and 35 other Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
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 advocates, Quinn reduced the department’s budget cut to $100 million to avoid a complete elimination of state funded substance abuse prevention and treatment services.
“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 are pleased that the House Human Services Committee approved Rep. Feigenholtz’s resolution. We look forward to the full House vote. ”
Quinn’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which begins on July 1, 2012, 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 we’re 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.”