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IL Senate Votes to Restore $55 Million for Drug
Treatment; Governor Urged to Approve Money

Money Would Halt Elimination of Care to 42,000

David Ormsby 312.342.9638
Sara Moscato Howe: 217.816.7799

September 23, 2008- (Chicago, IL) – The Illinois Senate today voted to restore $55 million to the state’s alcohol and drug treatment budget which had been originally vetoed by Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The Senate voted, 55-0, to restore the $55 million to state addiction treatment services and to halt the elimination of care for 42,000 across Illinois as part of $219 million supplement budget bill (SB 1103) to restore other state programs and services also vetoed by the Governor.

The House voted, 113-3, last week to restore the money.

“The General Assembly’s action will restore drug treatment services to more than 42,000 people across the state,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Now, we urge the Governor to act swiftly to approve the legislature’s action.”

On July 9, Blagojevich cut $55 million from addiction treatment services and also lineitem vetoed money from specific programs: victims of domestic violence, women returning from incarceration, youth treatment, youth in the court system, and women receiving federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families who require treatment to be employed.

Since the Governor’s budget veto was announced in July, treatment programs across the state have begun to eliminate services.

In suburban East Hazel Crest, Governor Blagojevich’s Administration eliminated $879,911 of a $4,273,054 grant to local treatment provider, South Suburban Council, which provides substance abuse treatment to more than 3,000 people each year.

“We will turn away approximately 600 South Suburban residents during the next year and 20,000 will soon be turned away across Cook County unless the Governor signs the bill,” said Allen Sandusky, President of the South Suburban Council and Chairman of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association.

The legislation now goes to the Governor’s desk for approval.