That's the amount the Department of Human Services (DHS) will look to cut from its budget before state government's current fiscal year ends on June 30. The new reductions target is down from the previous cut number of $100 million, and the $208 million discussed before that (in a subscriber-only post, the Capitol Fax broke the story about the latest lower figure this morning).
"The Governor's Office of Managment and Budget worked with DHS to mitigate those reductions as much as possible," DHS spokeswoman Stacey Solano told Progress Illinois. "A budget is always fluid but we're pretty confident that this is the number we're looking at." Solano said the governor's office used $43 million from a lump sum appropriation the General Assembly gave Quinn to reach the $57 million target. A representative from management and budget could not immediately be reached.
The new, and presumed final DHS reduction for this year, has a few social service agencies breathing a sigh of relief, albeit a momentary one. Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Association (IADDA), said her organization got the call from DHS a couple of days ago that substance abuse rehab programs would be spared this year. IADDA members were looking at losing $28 million in FY11, she said, meaning 55,000 rehabilitating addicts across Illinois would lose services annually. "Most of these people do not have insurance and if they do it does not cover addiction services," Howe said.
The problem for groups like IADDA is that while FY11's spending is now seemingly secure, next year's budget, and the cuts it puts on the table, is looming. "We're still concerned about the FY12 budget, which is just around the corner," Howe said.
UPDATE (4:00 p.m.): Here is how the $57 million in DHS cuts this fiscal year breaks down by departmental division:
- Mental Health - $4.9 million
- Developmental Disabilities - $5 million
- Human Capital Development - $28.5 million
- Alcohol and Substance Abuse - $7.2 million
- Rehabilitation Services - $6.5 million
- Community Health and Prevention - $5 million