Fine Budget Address SPRINGFIELD — Following Governor JB Pritzker’s budget address, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) issued the following statement:

“Although we have made substantial progress providing effective and accessible mental healthcare in Illinois, the shortage of mental health professionals remains a roadblock to timely care. As the chair of the Behavioral and Mental Health Committee, I have been working with mental health and disability experts and providers focusing on eliminating roadblocks to care, including issues regarding pay gaps and administrative barriers that have a direct impact on the providers as well as the patients.

“This budget proposal builds on current investments in quality, accessible mental health treatment, including the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative. This initiative, which began in 2022, works to transform statewide systems of care to increase accessibility and capacity for children and adolescents seeking mental healthcare.

“In addition, the proposed budget reflects the necessities of our most vulnerable residents by providing funding for developmental disability services. These critical dollars will help alleviate concerns and unnecessary burdens for families who’s loved ones thrive with essential programs.

“As our state budget is a moral document, it is vital that we make proper investments to ensure providers have the resources they need. I look forward to working with our budget team to secure crucial funding to address the workforce shortage and provide indispensable mental healthcare to Illinoisans across the state.”