Massive service cuts and layoffs in addiction healthcare, child welfare, mental health, and other human services will begin July 1 unless Governor Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, and the remainder of the General Assembly settle on at least a temporary budget agreement — a Herculean task given the state’s nearly $12 billion budget deficit and little more than two weeks to the deadline.
“The [Illinois] Department of Human Services is facing elimination of many programs and facilities. Four mental-health centers could close, sending residents to overburdened centers. Substance-abuse treatment and prevention services? Gone.” – Dubuque (IA) Telegraph Herald editorial, June 10
The elimination of state funding of drug treatment for 65,000 people doesn’t only affect those individuals. At least 10 people are affected by each person with an untreated addiction — not to mention those who become victims of addiction-driven crime.
When 39% of these (the percentage sent to treatment by the criminal justice system) or 25,000 drug-using offenders can’t get treatment, the toll of their addictions will be exacted on communities and taxpayers. Consequences will include addiction-driven crime, higher jail and prison costs, increased emergency room visits, and tens of thousands of nonviolent offenders trapped in cycles of addiction and crime without access to treatment.
Sunday, June 14: Chicago Tribune‘s article explains why the state budget situation is worse than ever.
Sunday, June 14: Springfield State Journal-Register‘s editorial explains why a temporary tax hike should be passed in order to avoid a July 1 massacre of services.
Sunday, June 14: Daily Herald reports that Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says Republicans won’t consider a tax hike until Democrats make concessions on pensions for incoming public employees and work to overhaul Medicaid spending.
TASC supports any and all sensible revenue measures to ensure that drug treatment and other vital, cost-saving services continue uninterrupted.