Illinois Pension, Medicaid Costs to Top Illinois Budget Problems in 2012

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois will be facing an $800 million deficit within three years, despite tax revenue projected to grow by more than $1 billion a year.

“These projections clearly demonstrate that action must be taken to control not only Medicaid costs but also (pension) costs or all other areas of government will continue to be squeezed,” Kelly Kraft, the governor’s budget spokeswoman said in a statement.

Quinn on Tuesday released his three-year budget projection in which Illinois in fiscal 2013 is expected to spend $33.7 billion, about $1.5 billion more than this year. By fiscal 2015, Illinois’ expenditures will reach $34.2 billion, or $2 billion more than the current budget.

The governor’s fiscal outline is part of the state’s Budgeting for Results initiative. Lawmakers created this process in 2011 to force the governor to craft a realistic budget within the financial means of the state.

The majority of the additional spending will be on public employee pensions.

Quinn’s own numbers project an $818 million deficit by 2015, even after holding spending flat on Medicaid, elementary and high school funding, and state government services.

Illinois’ pension payment jumps $1.1 billion in fiscal 2013, from $4.2 billion this year to $5.3 billion. By 2015, Illinois will be making an annual pension payment of $5.9 billion.

Republican State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said the state cannot afford a nearly $6 billion pension payment.

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Gov. Pat Quinn OK’s Restoration of Illinois Substance Abuse Treatment Funding

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation Monday that restores $28 million to Illinois substance abuse treatment services that were cut inadvertently earlier this year.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2412, reallocated money within the current Illinois budget to reinstate the treatment funding.

The following budget line items were restored:

  • Addiction Treatment Medicaid: $7.6M
  • Addiction Treatment Services: $16.9M
  • Addiction Treatment for DCFS Clients: $2M
  • Addiction Treatment for Special Populations: $1.5M

The bill also includes $30 million for community-based mental health services, mental health centers, burial services for the homeless and the poor, homelessness prevention programs, and need-based financial aid for college students.

Finally, the legislation will ensure that no state-run mental health or developmental disability centers will be closed this fiscal year.

“The successful effort to restore funding to Illinois substance abuse treatment services had many legislative champions, especially Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz, Barbara Flynn Currie, Kenneth DunkinPatricia Bellock, and Rosemary Mulligan, as well as State Senators Heather Steans, Dan Kotowski, Jacqueline Collins, William Delgado and Mattie Hunter,” said TASC President Pamela Rodriguez. “We are deeply grateful to them, and to all who voted to restore funding for these essential services.”

The current state budget runs until June 30, 2012.

 

Illinois Lawmakers Vote Overwhelmingly to Restore Illinois Substance Abuse Treatment Money

TASC, Inc. President Pamela Rodriguez

(Chicago, IL) – The Illinois legislature on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to restore nearly $30 million to community substance abuse treatment providers throughout Illinois, drawing praise from advocates.

“This supplemental budget immediately restores substance abuse treatment money to community care providers who received less money than intended in the state’s original budget,” said State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), chair of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee.

The budget fix, Senate Bill 2412, which shifted money from various state accounts without increasing state spending, added $28 million to substance abuse treatment care and restored spending to other key state programs.

The bi-partisan bill passed the House 92-20, and in the Senate, 50-5.

“We focused on the 99%,” said Feigenholtz. “Our budget priorities reflected their needs.”

The restoration of the substance abuse treatment money for community providers drew deep praise from a top treatment advocate.

“The successful effort to restore funding to Illinois substance abuse treatment services had many legislative champions, especially Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz, Barbara Flynn Currie, Kenneth DunkinPatricia Bellock, and Rosemary Mulligan, as well as State Senators Heather Steans, Dan Kotowski, Jacqueline Collins, William Delgado and Mattie Hunter,” said TASC President Pamela Rodriguez. “We are deeply grateful to them, and to all who voted to restore funding for these essential services.”

The legislation also included $30 million for community mental health services.

Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill.

Illinois Senate Democrats Seek Budget Details from GOP as Votes Near

(Springfield, IL) – As Illinois’ budget deadline approaches, the Illinois Senate could be the next fiscal battleground.

Fresh off of a two-week break, Illinois state senators on Monday returned to the Capitol to iron out the final details of a $30-billion-plus state spending plan.

“We’re going to pass a budget, and it will be a balanced budget,” said state Sen. William Haine, D-Alton, who added that he is confident the Senate would be done by the end of next week.

Exactly how to divide the state’s dollars, however, is in dispute.

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, wants to see an agreement between the House and Senate that sets a price tag before lawmakers start spending.

“It is unfair to human service providers, state employees, universities to have both chambers pass a budget that is totally different and have each of them thinking that one or the other is going to be the realistic number,” Syverson said.

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Senate President John Cullerton, GOP Leader Christine Radogno Divided over Budget

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois Senate Republicans and Democrats agree that cuts are a must to balance next year’s Illinois budget, but they argue over exactly how to do it.

After the Senate on Friday passed several measures to make payments to state pension funds, Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said they would have to slash about $1.2 billion from Gov. Pat Quinn’s $35.4 billion budget to balance the checkbook for the next fiscal year.

Cullerton said he wants to see lawmakers in the coming weeks suggest changes to the approximately 40 different pieces of legislation that make up Quinn’s proposed budget, a move Cullerton said would make the process more “open and transparent.”

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From CCAI: Gov. Pat Quinn Aims to Borrow $900 Million to Ease Illinois Cash Flow Crisis—Madigan, Cullerton, Cross, and Radogno Must Address Longer-Term Illinois Budget Problem

From the Child Care Association of Illinois, of which TASC is a member:
Governor Pat Quinn is planning to borrow $900 million to help cash-strapped Illinois to pay its bills through the winter.

Quinn’s borrowing plan should help newly-appointed Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services Michelle Saddler to ease the cash flow crisis at the agency and to pay social service providers.

“A Cash flow crisis on top of earlier budget cuts at the Illinois Department of Human Services is creating more risk to reliable care for at-risk youth each day,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “The new borrowing should help Secretary pay the bills.

“The longer-term cash flow problem is not Governor Quinn’s responsibility alone,” said Berglind. “House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Christine Radogno must assume the responsibility as well.”

“The Illinois budget dysfunction is undermining the provision of basic services to its citizens,” Berglind added.

The Child Care Association of Illinois is also raising the provider cash flow problems to House Human Services Appropriations Chair Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Senate Appropriations Chair Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), Berglind noted.

Illinois Doomsday Budget Forces TASC to Suspend Addiction Services

(Chicago, IL) — TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities), a not-for-profit helps drug and alcohol addicts get into treatment, is losing 76 percent of its state funding in the Illinois doomsday budget crisis.

Beginning July 1, workers were forced to take two weeks off without pay.

The organization is mandated by the state to evaluate substance abuse addicts and determine an alternative treatment to jail. Without TASC services, addicts who fail to receive treatment are likelier to continue to abuse drugs and alcohol, sending them back in jail, again and again and again.

Governor Pat Quinn, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno continue budget negotiations.

Lawmakers return to Springfield on July 14.

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