Illinois House Panel to Vote on Resolution Calling for Immediate Halt to Gov. Quinn’s Elimination of Drug Treatment Funding

(Springfield, IL) — From the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association:

An Illinois House legislative panel is slated to hold a vote this week on a House resolution calling on Governor Pat Quinn to halt a plan by his administration to eliminate all state funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment services.

The measure, House Resolution 106, which is being sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and 34 other Democratic and Republican lawmakers, faces a vote in the House Human Services Committee on Wednesday, March 9.

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 prevention and treatment advocates, Quinn reduced the department’s budget cut from $208 million to $100 million to avoid a complete elimination of state-funded substance abuse prevention and treatment services. However, the uncertainly of the actual amount to be cut in the next two weeks has prompted some treatment providers to freeze intake of new clients.

“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 think that the House Human Services Committee must approve Rep. Feigenholtz’s resolution.”

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.

The hearing will be held in the Stratton Office Building, Room D-1, in Springfield at 8:00 a.m.

In addition to Feigenholtz, the resolution’s sponsors included State Representatives:

Chad Hays, Patricia R. Bellock, Keith Farnham, Daniel Biss, Mary E. Flowers, La Shawn K. Ford, Robyn Gabel, Lou Lang, Maria Antonia Berrios, Esther Golar, Greg Harris, Constance A. Howard, David R. Leitch, Rita Mayfield, Michael W. Tryon, Linda Chapa LaVia, Thomas Holbrook, Deborah Mell, Naomi D. Jakobsson, Michael P. McAuliffe, Jim Watson, Patrick J. Verschoore, Dave Winters, Robert W. Pritchard, Ann Williams, Jack McGuire, William Davis, Lisa M. Dugan, Mark H. Beaubien, Jr., Dennis M. Reboletti, Karen A. Yarbrough, Daniel J. Burke, Annazette Collins and Dan Brady.

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