|February 20, 2002
GOV. RYAN'S PROPOSED BUDGET
SPRINGFIELD, IL Governor George H. Ryan today proposed a Fiscal Year 2003 budget of $331.6 million for the Illinois Department of Public Health that includes $35 million in new federal funds to strengthen the state's ability to respond to a bioterrorist attack or other public health emergency.
"We must do everything possible to ensure Illinois' ability to react in the event of a public health emergency, whether it is an act of bioterrorism or an outbreak of influenza," Governor Ryan said. "A strong public health system is a must and, through a combination of state and federal funds, we are providing the necessary resources to improve these critical functions."
The federal bioterrorism funds -- $30 million of which already has been promised to Illinois for state and local public health departments and hospitals -- is in addition to $6.5 million in state supplemental funds allocated to the department in December for bioterrorism preparedness.
Of the initial federal bioterrorism award to the state, $26 million is to improve the state and public health infrastructure, including disease surveillance, and $4 million is to create regional hospital plans to handle a bioterrorism attack or disease outbreak. As part of the federal Fiscal Year 2003 budget, which begins October 1, President George W. Bush has proposed millions more for bioterrorism response, but state allotments have not yet been calculated.
"The state and local public health system will be upgraded to enhance its ability to rapidly identify unusual clusters of infectious diseases, which most likely would be the first hint that a bioterrorist event has taken place," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director.
"These funds also will enhance the readiness of hospital systems to deal with large numbers of casualties and expand public health laboratory and communication capabilities."
The state's formal application for the $30 million in federal funds is under development and must be approved by Governor Ryan prior to submission to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services later this spring.
Governor Ryan also recommended devoting $42 million in tobacco settlement dollars to the department for state and local health department tobacco cessation and prevention efforts and for medical research.
"Tobacco use contributes to nearly 20,000 deaths each year in Illinois," Governor Ryan said. "To reverse this trend, prevention and cessation programs must target all segments of the population, but particularly teenagers. Studies have found if young people don't smoke as teenagers, it is unlikely they ever will do so."
The Governor proposed $2.2 million in tobacco settlement dollars for the University of Chicago for juvenile diabetes research and $1.9 million to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for sickle cell disease research.
Ryan also recommended $400,000 to provide funding for the department to continue its effort to license and inspect the state's estimated 300-400 assisted living facilities.
Rules governing the program became effective December 1, 2001, and license applications are now being accepted. Assisted living and shared housing establishments provide residents with three meals per day, housekeeping and laundry services, security, an emergency communication response system and assistance with daily living activities.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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