On December 31st, 2014, the current state personal income tax rate will go down from 5% to 3.75% and the corporate rate will go down from 7% to 5.25% unless the Illinois legislature votes to continue the current rates. These reductions would result in serious cuts to behavioral health services including the following:
- 140,000 individuals receiving publicly funded mental health services will have reduced access to psychiatry, counseling, ACT, and emergency medications;
- 35,000 individuals will no longer receive any services;
- 10,000 people will not receive needed crisis services (resulting in more admissions to the ERs and nursing homes, etc.);
- 840 beds of the current 3,500 would be reduced for crisis residential treatment, resulting in increased homelessness;
- 216 individuals would lose rental subsidies for the Permanent Supported Housing program, placing them at risk of losing their housing;
- Reduction in the Individual Care Grant program, including services serving at least 75 children;
- Reduction in funding for SMHRF Comparable Services will prevent implementation of a key pilot program;
- Reduction of services to 880 Williams Class members currently living in the community by the elimination of drop-in centers ACT teams, and other programs.
- Inability to meet FY15 Consent Decree targets to transition 400 Williams class members and 220 Colbert class members.
- Inability to meet tenets of these Consent Decrees would result in federal receivership.
- Reduction of 3,280 civil hospital beds and 320 forensic beds.
- Reduced staffing by 650 would increase risk of violating CRIPA and other federal laws.
The good news is that the Governor has proposed a budget which will continue the current personal and corporate income tax rates beyond December 31st. However, in order for this budget to become a reality it must be passed by the Illinois House and Senate. Please contact your state senator and state representative and tell them to vote for a continuation of the current income tax rates. The legislature is not in session until April 28 so you can call, write or visit your legislators in the home district offices. Click here to find out the name of your state senator and repreentative and how to contact them.