News from Rockford, IL Democrats – more news at WinnDems.org.

Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - July 26, 2017



 
Budget includes funding for Rosecrance Triage Center; Stadelman calls on governor to release money
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The budget state lawmakers passed earlier this month despite the governor's veto contains $2 million in funding to provide care for people in psychiatric crisis in Rockford.
 
State Senator Steve Stadelman said Illinois must deliver on its promise to increase spending on community-based services after closing Singer Mental Health Center in 2012. The nonprofit Rosecrance Health Network responded to the state facility shutdown by opening Mulberry Center to provide rapid evaluations in emergencies, stabilize patients in 23 hours and determine appropriate follow-up care.

"We've approved a budget, and the money for Rosecrance is there," Stadelman said. "The triage program keeps those who struggle with mental illnesses out of jail cells and hospital beds, which saves taxpayers money in the long run."  
 
However, Gov. Rauner has opposed funding for mental health since taking office in 2015, zeroing out line items in his 2016 and 2017 budget proposals.
 
Last year, when the Rauner administration released less to Rosecrance than was designated under a partial stop-gap budget, local government and nonprofit agencies helped fill the gap. Earlier this year, Rosecrance warned triage hours may be cut after July if state funds don't materialize.
 
"We are very encouraged that the state legislature passed a budget that includes funding for the Triage Center," Rosecrance Health Network President and CEO Phil Eaton said.
 
"We understand these are challenging times for the state and are very grateful to our legislators who voted for and worked diligently to ensure that triage funding remained a priority and was specifically included in the budget," Eaton said. "We look forward to receiving contracts from the state for this program, which continues to serve members of our community who are in psychiatric crisis. We are also deeply grateful to our local community partners, whose support helped us keep the Triage Center open during the budget impasse."
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Rauner orders expensive special legislative session on school funding
 
Governor Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield this week for a special session to address education funding.
 
When the General Assembly overrode the Rauner's veto of the state's first full-year budget since 2015, the spending plan contained a provision to distribute money to schools in concert with separate reform legislation.
 
Senate Bill 1, which received bipartisan approval in the Senate and House, would more equitably fund schools by reducing the state's reliance on local property taxes. Communities with low property values typically have high poverty rates and more at-risk students.
 
Rauner has threatened to veto parts of the SB 1, which could mean some schools across the state won't have the money to open as scheduled in mid-August.
 
"Rather than call a special session, which costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day, the governor should simply negotiate his concerns with the leadership in both chambers," Stadelman said. "The bottom line is, Illinois cannot continue to let zip codes determine the quality of education our children receive."
 
Rockford public schools would receive $5 million more under SB 1, while Harlem public schools would gain at least $650,000 a year.
      
 
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This Rockford Democrat blog features news and press releases from Rockford, IL Democratic officials and candidates for office.
It is a "lite" version of WinnDems.org.
Paul Gorski is the editor and posts the content. More information about local Democratic officials and candidates can be found at WinnDems.org (http://www.winndems.org)
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