A Message from the Director
How are we doing?
Governor Pat Quinn delivered his budget address to the Illinois General Assembly on Feb. 22. In a somber tone, he described the upcoming budget negotiations as a “rendezvous with reality.” His agenda highlighted the need to continue to look at pension reform, Medicaid spending, operational efficiencies, and the need to close tax loopholes and grow the economy through the creation of jobs.
As a result, the governor’s budget once again reduced general revenue funding. In fact, budget cuts impacted virtually all areas of state government, except for education and veterans’ services, which received slight increases.
Noteworthy in his address was the early reference to persons with disabilities. “I’m committed,” he stated, “to improving the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness.” He further committed to using “person-centered, community-based care.”
The governor then reiterated the plans to close the Jacksonville Developmental Center and Tinley Park Mental Health Center. He also announced the closure of two additional centers: the Singer Mental Health Center in Rockford and the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia.
Analysis of the governor’s budget reflects the following key points:
- The budget contains no rate or cost-of-living increases.
- Grant funds for developmental disabilities will be reduced by $18.2 million.
- Grant funds for mental health will be cut $58 million.
- Funding is provided for the Ligas Consent Decree.
- The Autism Program (TAP) is reduced by 5 percent.
We can share a collective sigh of relief since the governor did offer us a little good news: the proposed budget does not reduce developmental disabilities reimbursement rates (the money the state contracts to pay providers like Trinity so they can offer services to people with disabilities and mental illness). The administration undoubtedly concluded that it did not want to reduce community-based providers at a time when state facilities were closing.
On a practical level, the budget as presented means that we will have to continue our efforts to contain costs, look at additional savings, and work to increase revenue streams and fundraising income. At this time, there is no information available about the amount of specific grant cuts to Trinity.
Gov. Quinn’s budget presentation is only the first step in the budget building process. We will keep you informed as the next stages unfold. Please call or email me if you have any questions.
Thanks for all you do for Trinity.
P.S. Gov. Quinn’s budget can be found at: www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=58392