State Budget Fight

The Current Budget Situation

The FY 2012 budget proposed by Governor Quinn will result in substantial cuts to mental health services.  For example, community mental health funding in the DHS budget is being cut by 23%.  The cumulative cuts from FY2009 through FY2012 amount to 36%.  There are also draconian cuts to addiction treatment services, homeless services, the elimination of DHS funding for the Children’s Mental Health Partnership and cuts to the budget for medications for people with serious mental illness.  (A summary of the cuts is linked below. ).  Among other things, these cuts will make it impossible for the state to comply with the Williams v. Quinn consent decree in which the state promised to end its excessive, wasteful and inhumane reliance on nursing homes to warehouse persons with mental illnesses.   The House and the Senate have now passed seperate budget bills.  While Senate Bill 2450 is more generous than House Bill 3717, both will do real harm to persons with mental illnesses and their families and communities.  (A comparison of the two bills is linked below.)  There will now be meetings to reconcile these bills and the Governor’s budget.  Importantly, we can reduce the need for cuts if we maximize revenue.

Action Items:  

Resources:

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