Legislative Achievements

Community Mental Health Act

Of vital importance to the Association of Community Mental Health Authorities (ACMHAI) is to preserve, to protect, and to embellish when possible, the Illinois Community Mental Health Act.

ACMHAI strongly feels that community mental health boards, in addition to being valuable service resources for their respective areas, are legal governmental entities that must be safeguarded from interference or obstruction from outside forces. As such, our ability to raise and expend local mental health funds must be unrestrained and those dollars should be spent where they lie.

Since its inception ACMHAI has taken an active role in monitoring state legislative activity. We work closely with our own contractual lobbyists and others to monitor each and every bill and amendment introduced in each legislative session. When we determine there is any positive or negative impact to 708 boards we act immediately. Occasionally, ACMHAI also initiates legislation to expand 708 board authority, to correct inequities, or to update our statute to reflect current or best practices.

The following are a few examples of ACMHAI’s long history of legislative advocacy to enhance the Community Mental Health Act.

Increasing the community mental health maximum tax rate levy from .1% to .15% (1975)
Allowing 708 boards to enter into multi-year contract and joint agreements, as well as owning or leasing property (2002)
Clarifying how our maximum tax rate of .15% is treated under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Act (PTELL) (2009) ished.

When necessary, ACMHAI has also had to work diligently to protect 708 boards on issues detrimental to both organization and finance.

Successfully convincing the General Assembly to exempt 708 boards from a statewide statute that allows counties to consolidate and dismantle any local boards where the county chair makes a majority of appointments. (2017)
Defeating legislation that would have mandated that 20% of our levy be redirected to the county sheriff for mental health services at the county jail. (2019)

ACMHAI takes its stewardship of the Community Mental Health Act and our commitment to protecting the over $74 million in local resources raised through our respective tax levies seriously. Both our members and our lobbyists have established strong legislative relationships and work diligently to guarantee that the jewels of local mental health services remain unblemished.