June 18, 2010 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

I. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 8:09 AM.

II. Roll Call

Commissioners: IJJC Chairman George Timberlake, Pamela Rodriguez, Gene Griffin, IJJC Vice Chair Wayne Straza, Dr. Debra Ferguson, Lisa Jacobs, Kurt Friedenauer, Julie Biehl.

Staff: Julie Stremlau and Karrie Rueter

III. SB 1725 and HB 5914, Parole Study Funding Proposal

The Planning and Grants Committee approved the Parole Study Funding Proposal presented on June 17, 2010.  The Executive Committee is being asked to approve up to $22,500 for the parole study required by SB 1725 and HB 5914 legislation.  Commissioner Griffin motioned to approve.  No second motion necessary, Committee request.  Commissioner Biehl abstained.

All in favor, motion passed.

IV. First Defense Legal Aid Proposal

IJJC Chairman Timberlake announced that FDLA was not ready with their proposal but will present to the Commission in July.

V. DJJ FY2011 Funding Request

The Planning and Grants Committee separated the positions and approved the DJJ FY2011 Funding Request on June 17, 2010.  The two positions are a Behavioral Clinical Director and an Administrator of Detention Standards and Audits.  IJJC Vice Chair Straza announced that he was changing his vote from yes to no on the DJJ Funding Request.

Commissioner Rodriguez inquired as to the consequences if the Commission does not fund the Administrator of Detention Standards and Audits.  Director Friedenauer explained there are no other resources for this position and the juvenile detention centers will not be monitored.  These are statutory responsibilities of the State that are never funded or provided for.  Director Friedenauer explained that he has had very little success with general revenue state-funded positions.

Commissioner Rodriguez recommended the Commission respond and align with education and advocacy to convey to the State their responsibility to provide DJJ the funding necessary to fulfill these requirements.  Mandated items should not be under-funded by the State.  Commissioner Biehl commented that the Commission would have to look at the entire DJJ budget to do a report or comment of that nature.

Commissioner Hill stated that this request is a continuation of current staff that the Commission has funded and he asked if DJJ has made any attempts to address these positions elsewhere.  Director Friedenauer explained that DJJ’s budget has been reviewed and has about 2% flexibility.  It is very hard to be creative with 2%.  Commissioner Rodriguez responded that with the economic issues of the State, the Commission needs to be very strategic in how it spends money.

Commissioner Griffin asked if this decision could be pushed back until the Budget Planning Meeting.  Commissioner Ferguson asked if there were any ongoing efforts to secure alternative funding for this position.  Director Friedenauer explained that this position is folded into the FY11 budget but will not be funded.  The budget cannot be adjusted to allot for this position.  IJJC Chairman Timberlake asked for a motion to approve the Detention Standards and Audit Position.  No motion made.

IJJC Chairman Timberlake asked for discussion on the Behavioral Health Administrator position.  Director Friedenauer explained that this position was shared with DOC originally.  DOC “shared services” are still provided and DJJ is budgeted by them, even though DJJ receives very little services.  Commissioner Rodriguez asked if the merger with DCFS would affect this position.  The merger with DCFS, if it occurs, is further down the road and this proposal must be addressed.  Director Friedenauer stated that this position is essential for DJJ and the 1200 youth whom receive DJJ services.

Commissioner Jacobs stated that it is unacceptable for the State not to fund the critical position of the Behavioral Health Administrator. She added that if these positions are on paper as shared services then how do we ensure that DJJ receive their share of the services. Commissioner Griffin noted that, by allocating grant funding for a behavioral health position within DJJ, the state was absolved from both supporting this critical function within DJJ and from finding ways to utilize the shared service effectively, to the benefit of incarcerated youth. He asked whether Commission funding was creating unintended consequences, in that this mandated “shared resource” was now providing no benefit to DJJ or the youth it cares for. Commissioner Ferguson added that if the State does not find these positions essential and necessary then why should the Commission. Commissioner Ferguson does not believe the State should step back from its fiscal responsibilities.

Commissioner Biehl requested to receive all the budget information available.  This information is necessary now so the Commission can determine how best to address the needs of the youth in Illinois.  Commissioner Rodriguez stated that the Commission is under pressure to act but does not believe it has the necessary information to make a final decision.  Commissioner Rodriguez recommended changing this request to a six-month funding request.  The Commission has a budgetary meeting planned to establish funding priorities.  This meeting is being planned for some time in July.  The Commission could re-evaluate this position at a later date.  Commissioner Rodriguez motioned to approve the Mental Health Administrator position for six months ($49,250.00) and revisit the decision based upon the Commission’s funding priorities.  IJJC Vice Chair Straza seconded the motion.  Director Friedenauer abstained.  Commissioner Ferguson voted no.  Motion passed.

VI. Annual Report

The 2009 Annual Report is currently overdue.  The Communications Committee met on June 11th and has requested to combine the 2009 and 2010 Annual Report into a two-year report.  The new Commissioners do not feel they can adequately report on decisions made prior to their appointments.  The Commissioners would like this report to focus on systems reform and to reflect their plan for the future of the Commission.  January is the month requested for release of the report, as it will have more impact at that time.  IJJC Chairman George Timberlake announced that this decision is something the full Commission should vote on.  This will be presented at the next IJJC meeting.

VII. New Business

IJJC Vice Chair Straza remains concerned about previous funding not being expended.  He added that it is critical that the Department report on funds which will not be expended as planned, so that these funds can be recouped rather than lapsed, and redirected accordingly.  IJJC Chairman Timberlake noted that the full review of the budget would address these types of issues.

Commissioner Ferguson requested that budgetary information be sent to Commissioners prior to the meeting.  Information will be sent out as soon as possible.

The Budget Planning meeting set for July 13th is cancelled.  July 14th for the IJJC meeting is also cancelled.  A calendar of optional dates will be sent to Commissioners for their input.

VIII. Adjournment

Commissioner Jacobs moved to adjourn the meeting.  IJJC Vice Chair Straza seconded the motion.  Meeting adjourned at 9:36 AM.