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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Illinois Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Services Face $110 Million Reductions in 2015

Illinois organizations that provide mental health services to the public and those for adults with developmental disabilities may find themselves short on money.

These rehabilitation facilities could be short $110 million for the fiscal year. Which comes at no surprise to those in the capital city or those organizations needing money.

"We knew when the General Assembly passed, and the governor signed, the FY15 Budget that there was a problem with it," said Janet Stover the president and CEO of Illinois Association Of Rehabilitation Facilities.

The problem, the over one hundred million dollar shortfall meant to fund the state's rehabilitation programs.

"And what it means is that they can expect either rate cuts, or they can expect payment delays, or other mechanisms that have been used in the past when the state has found itself in this situation," said Stover.

Stover says that members of her organization, business that deal directly with the impaired, disabled, or rehabilitated, will feel the impact of this if no money is produced. But, the spill over of this could be bigger than expected.

"Of the homeless population (there) is a large percentage of the individuals that have those two things," said Helping Hands Springfield's Executive Director Rod Lane. He continued saying, "So if they don't have those services they need they stay sick. And when they stay sick, sick behaviors continue."

The rippling effects could mean that rehab centers have to turn people away causing shelters to possibly fill up. If they fill up, that means they have no place to go.

"The system would see more in our emergency rooms, more in our jails, more in our triage units, and more with out crisis teams. It costs the system more when people are sicker," said Lane.

That means costing tax payers more money. Something that these institutions and lawmakers don't want to deal with.

"Every indication was that they'd deal with this when the time came and now is the time," stated Stover.

In a statement released from Governor Bruce Rauner's office it said, "The current fiscal year has $1.5 billion budget hole because the budget signed by Governor Quinn did not provide enough funding for it. Governor Rauner is working with the legislature to find a responsible solution."

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