(Chicago, IL) — March 14, 2011. Illinois has captured another dubious distinction in its long-running budget crisis, snagging a spot among the top ten states for slashing funding for mental health care, a new report says.
According to a new national report released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the reduction of 15.1% from Illinois’ mental health service budgets since fiscal year 2009 has earned Illinois the 10th slot in the top ten rankings. Kentucky, slicing 47.5% from its state budget, captured the number one ranking.
Since fiscal year 2009, which began July 1, 2009, Illinois has shed $113.7 million. In next year’s fiscal year 2012 budget, Governor Pat Quinn has proposed eliminating another $33 million. Ouch.
“While Illinois must continue to reduce its spending, we can not complete eviscerate Illinois’ mental health system,” said House Deputy Majority Lou Lang (D-Skokie), a former chairman of the House Mental Health Reform Committee.
“There must balance to spending reductions, and the proposed budget cuts to Illinois mental health system, which is already staggering under previous reductions, are too extreme.”
The Illinois House appropriations committees have started hearings on Quinn’s proposed spending plan. It is widely expected that lawmakers will make significant changes to the governor’s budget priorities.