(Carbondale, IL) – Citing budget cuts by the Quinn Administration, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is pushing the governor to prioritize mental health funding.
“I am committed to working with the governor, legislators and stakeholders to support programs that are allowing people with developmental disabilities to thrive,” said Simon, who is touring a Downstate group home and crisis center on Friday.
Simon noted in a press release issued on Thursday by her office, “Between 2009 and 2011, Illinois cut general revenue funding for mental health services by almost $114 million and was fourth in the nation for total cuts.”
“More precisely, it would be the Quinn-Simon Administration that cut the mental health funding,” a behavioral healthcare advocate pointed out. “Those cuts occurred on her watch.”
On Friday afternoon, Simon, who is a candidate for Comptroller, will visit a group home and a mental health crisis center operated by The H Group. For more than 50 years the agency has provided mental health services in Franklin, Jackson and Williamson Counties.
Simon’s visit follows a tour earlier this spring of the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, which the Quinn-Simon Administration is seeking to shutter.
Illinois Budgeting for Results Commission, bi-partisan panel, comprised of Simon, legislators and leaders in business, education, budgeting and finance – spent the summer holding public hearings to gather testimony from service providers, advocates and stakeholders, regarding the success of existing programs and services.
Simon says the commission will advise Governor Pat Quinn on the Fiscal Year 2015 budget and that she’ll push mental health as a funding priority.
“Mental health providers are on the front lines, serving some of our state’s most vulnerable residents, and they depend on state funding,” said Simon.