Posted tagged ‘Jeff Schoenberg’

As Federal Medicaid Aid Ebbs, Illinois Aims to Pay $1.8 Billion in Bills by June 30

June 23, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois lawmakers on Wednesday approved a plan to delay a $365 million payment into Illinois’ rainy day fund, and instead use that money to pay some of the billions of dollars Illinois owes to Medicaid providers.

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said the state is racing to maximize a federal Medicaid match that expires at the end of the month. Illinois is getting 57 cents on the dollar for qualifying Medicaid bills that it pays this month. Starting in July, that rate falls back to the normal 50 cents on the dollar.

Maximizing the $365 million, Topinka said, should allow her to pay $1.85 billion in Medicaid bills by June 30. She estimates Illinois could receive an extra $90 million to $100 million from the federal government.

“The Medicaid match did not solve all of our problems, but is sure as heck helped,” said Topinka. “And come the 30th of June, we lose that help, and we’ll be out there on our own.”

(more…)

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Pat Quinn’s Budget Jeopardizes 24-Hour Crisis Intervention, Mental Health Care, After School, Special Ed for 17,000 Troubled Teens

April 27, 2010

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal that slashes additional $4.1 million from Illinois child welfare agencies serving troubled Illinois teenagers will undermine care and after school programs for at least 17,000 children, according to advocates today who appeared at an Illinois Senate panel hearing.

“Governor Pat Quinn last month delivered a brief but dismal budget message,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “And that message said the state will once again slash care to more than 17,000 troubled Illinois teenagers.”

According to Berglind’s analysis of Quinn’s budget under the Illinois Department of Human Services, headed by Secretary Michelle Saddler, Early Intervention, Homeless Youth, Healthy Families, Parents Too Soon, Redeploy Illinois, Teen REACH, Teen Parent Services, and UDIS were reduced 10% this year and 20% in the last two state budgets.

“The Governor is gutting these after school and supplemental school programs year after year after year with brutal cuts totaling 30%,” said Berglind. “Shrinking these supportive school programs is an invitation to a graduation rate collapse.”

Berglind made her comments as the Illinois State Senate Humans Services Appropriations Committee today took budget testimony at its hearing from youth service advocates.  Senate Committee members include: Chairman Donne Trotter (D), Jeff Schoenberg (D), Jacqueline Collins (D), William Delgado (D), Mattie Hunter (D), Mike Jacobs (D), Emil Jones, III (D), Matt Murphy (R), Pamela Althoff (R), Tim Bivins (R), Chris Lauzen (R), Dave Syverson (R).

Additionally, Berglind noted that Illinois Department of Human Services officials said that 4,200 children would lose care due to Quinn’s cuts to Mental Health Community Based services.

“Eliminating mental health care for 4,200 children will likely doom their academic performance,” said Berglind.

Finally, Berglind noted that the state special education budget took a huge hit of almost $67 million in Quinn’s budget. In the budget, the Regular Orphanage Act line is down 25.44%, the Special Ed Orphanage Act line is down 32.13% and the Private Tuition Line is down 13.78%.

“State support for special education is down, down, down the drain,” said Berglind.

“We urge the General Assembly to develop a budget that reverses the massive cuts to care, after school, and special education programs for troubled youth,” said Berglind.

Madigan, Cross, and Other House Lawmakers Pushed to Increase Illinois Income Tax

May 27, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – The Child Care Association of Illinois today called on the Illinois House to approve an income tax increase.

“The Child Care Association of Illinois recognizes that the state of Illinois is in financial crisis, but lawmakers must not reduce or eliminate vital human services,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “For some elected officials this will be a difficult vote, but we urge lawmakers to vote for an income tax increase.”

Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago)

Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago)

“If the House fails to approve an income tax increase, lawmakers must then vote for Governor Pat Quinn’s doomsday budget as a budget balancing alternative–and accept their complete abdication of responsibility,” said Berglind.

The Doomsday Budget contains cuts, reductions and eliminations across all human services.

If the income tax vote that is expected on Wednesday falls short, the House will probably vote on this doomsday budget on Thursday.

“It would be a budgetary bloodbath,” said Berglind.

At DCFS, if Quinn’s average 37% cut is applied across the board, its budget would end up at about $850 million—almost $500 million less than currently budgeted. Abused and neglected child caseloads for workers collide with court consent decrees, according to Berglind.

On the DHS side, Community Health and Prevention Division would decrease from $237 million to $149 million—a loss of $88 million. Some of the budget lines are so small they could not absorb a 37% reduction and still be viable.

“Many youth services would not survive,” said Berglind. “They would just be eliminated.”

The Chairs of the House and Senate Human Services Appropriations committee—State Representative Sara Feigenholtz and State Senator Donne Trotter—need to communicate to House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno that a state income tax increase must be approved.

The members of Senate Appropriations Committee—Jeff Schoenberg, Jacqueline Collins, William Delgado, Mattie Hunter, Mike Jacobs, Emil Jones, Matt Murphy, Pam Althoff, Tim Bivins, Chris Lauzen and Dave Syverson as well as the House members Harry Osterman, Rosemary Mulligan, Patricia Bellock, Beth Coulson, Keith Farnham, Jehan Gordon, Deborah Graham, Elizabeth Hernandez, Eddie Jackson, David Leitch, Deborah Mell, Kathy Ryg, Angelo Saviano, Tim Schmitz, Darlene Senger, Ron Stephens, Mark Walker, and Eddie Washington—need to deliver the same message to legislative leaders.

Voters will be watching.

The legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 31.

Quinn Doomsday Budget Will Doom Care for Abused and Neglected Children, Feigenholtz and Trotter Need to Rally Madigan, Cullerton

May 21, 2009

(Springfield, IL)Governor Pat Quinn’s recent doomsday budget announcement offered no detail on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or on the child service budget lines within the Department of Human Services.

But we can offer an educated guess: a budgetary bloodbath.

Governor Pat Quinn

Governor Pat Quinn

At DCFS, if Quinn’s average 37% cut is applied across the board, its budget would end up at about $850 million—almost $500 million less than currently budgeted.

Last year, when DCFS weighed $75 million in cuts, those cuts would have eliminated 40% of system of care, threatening to explode caseloads.

Quinn is now talking almost 7 times that much.

The Child Care Association of Illinois would anticipate if that degree of cut was made, all child caseloads would have to be increased to the maximum allowed by consent decrees (20 for foster care) plus more in caseloads that are not subject to consent decree.

Under those conditions, the abuse and neglect suffered by children would simply be committed by the state of Illinois.

All programs with minimal or no federal funding stream would be cut—much of the family preservation line, certain counseling, quite a bit of training would be gone. Even with that amount cut, DCFS could not achieve the budget reduction goal. DCFS would need to decrease private agency rates too.

On the DHS side, Community Health and Prevention Division would decrease from $237 million to $149 million—a loss of $88 million. Some of the budget lines are so small they could not absorb a 37% reduction and still be viable. They would just be eliminated. If the private youth services agencies thought 10% would be the end of the program, a 37% cut would be unfathomable.

The Department of Juvenile Justice has not much to cut, unless they eliminate entire wings of facilities. If they eliminate all aftercare, they still would not make their budget cut share.

Juveniles would be released from corrections with no aftercare services, although it is unsure how much leeway Governor Quinn has on releasing either juveniles or adults who have been duly sentenced to specific timeframes under the law.

For the Illinois State Board of Education, we cannot even predict how they would cut. Another budgetary bloodletting.

The Chairs of the House and Senate Human Services Appropriations committee—State Representative Sara Feigenholtz and State Senator Donne Trotter—need to communicate to House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno that state human service agencies and the vulnerable citizens they would cease to exist in any recognizable form after such budgetary ax swings.

The members of Senate Appropriations Committee—Jeff Schoenberg, Jacqueline Collins, William Delgado, Mattie Hunter, Mike Jacobs, Emil Jones, Matt Murphy, Pam Althoff, Tim Bivins, Chris Lauzen and Dave Syverson as well as the House members Harry Osterman, Rosemary Mulligan, Patricia Bellock, Beth Coulson, Keith Farnham, Jehan Gordon, Deborah Graham, Elizabeth Hernandez, Eddie Jackson, David Leitch, Deborah Mell, Kathy Ryg, Angelo Saviano, Tim Schmitz, Darlene Senger, Ron Stephens, Mark Walker, and Eddie Washington—need to deliver the same message to legislative leaders.

Voters will be watching.

Illinois House Approves Berrios Bill to Boost Foster Parent Reimbursement by One-Time $24 Million Grant; Schoenberg Senate Sponsor

April 2, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois House on Tuesday endorsed a one-time $24 million grant to reimburse foster parents for increased expenses related to caring for the state’s abused and neglected children.

State Rep. Maria "Toni" Berrios

State Rep. Maria "Toni" Berrios

The Illinois House voted 76-40 to include the money in the state’s new Fiscal Year 2010 budget.

“Foster parents have had only two increases in eight years to pay expenses to feed, clothe, house, and transport foster children and inflation has deeply eroded the value of the state reimbursement,” said Marge Berglind, the President and CEO of the Child Care Association of Illinois, the bill’s chief supporter.

Berglind noted, on average, an Illinois foster parent spends $703 per month—of that $281 comes out of the foster parent’s pocket.

A national report on foster parent under-funding released two years  ago by two national organizations and the University of Maryland said Illinois’

Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang

Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang

average rates (for children 2, 9, and 16) were $380, $422, and $458 per month and they needed to be raised to $661, $757, and $830 to meet actual costs.

The legislation, House Bill 83, sponsored by State Rep. Maria “Toni” Berrios (D-Chicago), provides a one-time payment this year of $24 million to the state’s 7,500 foster parents. The payments would average $145 per foster child.

“It’s an embarrassment that DCFS seeks volunteer foster parents to care for abused and neglected children and then refuses to pay the full cost of care,” said co-sp0nsor Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie). “This one-time $24 million grant attempts to address DCFS’ negligence.”

“We applaud Representative Berrios for her leadership and willingness to address the state’s under-funding of foster care,” said Berglind.

State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), Deb Mell (D-Chicago), Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago), Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) and Eddie Washington (D-Waukegan) are the bill’s other sponsors.

The measure now moves to the Illinois Senate under the sponsorship of State Senator Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston).