February 2, 2000
RYAN PROPOSAL BOOSTS LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT SPENDING
SPRINGFIELD, IL Gov. George H. Ryan today proposed a Fiscal Year 2001 budget of $251 million for the Illinois Department of Public Health that includes a near doubling of state funds provided to local health departments.
"Local health departments form the backbone of the public health system in Illinois and this additional state investment recognizes their significant contribution to improving the health of Illinois citizens ," Ryan said.
The department's budget request recommends $112.7 million in general revenue funds, a 3.1 percent increase from current fiscal year levels. In addition, the Governor proposed the agency receive $17.4 million in new tobacco settlement funds.
The Governor's plan proposes $24.6 million for basic health protection and prevention activities by local health departments, up $11 million over fiscal 2000 spending. (List of Local Health Protection Grants) The additional money, which comes from tobacco settlement funds, will allow overall per capita funding to increase from approximately $1.15 to $2 per person and raise the base funding level for 65 local health departments to at least $100,000.
All 94 local health departments would receive a minimum of $40,000 in new funding, while the larger departments can expect more based on a formula that takes into account population and poverty levels. For example, the Chicago Department of Public Health's grant would increase from $1.8 million to $5.2 million.
The state support provided to local health departments is used to help cover the cost of four mandated core programs food sanitation, potable water, private sewage and infectious diseases.
The Governor also called on the General Assembly to use tobacco settlement money to provide $3.5 million to develop a smoking prevention program targeting youth and $1 million to undertake initiatives to reduce health risks among women and girls.
"Teenagers often make important lifestyle choices, such as experimenting with tobacco, that can have lifelong, potentially life-threatening consequences," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "The overwhelming majority of adult smokers (more than 80 percent) say they started before age 18, typically by age 14½. Studies show that if people do not begin to smoke as teenagers or children, it is unlikely they will ever do so."
The additional spending for the department's Office of Women's Health, one of the first such office's in the nation, would be used to support grants for education, promotion and prevention of diseases and to improve the public's access to resources and services.
Other budget highlights include --
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