Meanwhile, another issue reported about, but kept carefully apart from the gambling issue by time and/or space is the fact that the Illinois Department of Human Services seems to be suffering the most when the state's budget is being cut. The World Socialist Web Site focused on this issue in an article titled Illinois budget cuts gouge education, social services back in July of 2010. This article pointed out that mental health was primarily targeted:
The largest of the detailed spending cuts was made to the Department of Human Services, which is to lose $312.6 million, or nearly 8 percent of its funding. Although these cuts are expected to impact a wide variety of programs, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that programs for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled were particularly targeted. -- http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jul2010/illi-j09.shtml
When these two issues are kept at a distance from one-another, it's easy to overlook their engineered interactivity. When considering the reaction of the business community to the state-wide smoking ban, one can get a sense of the motivation and back-room influence the business community has on the state's decision to most severely cut the budget of the Illinois Department of Human Services in the area of addiction, whether it be substance or behavior.
Mental health services deal with such economically influential addictions as gambling, over-indulging in consumption of mind-altering chemicals, food, and even hoarding. The Department of Human Services particularly deals with people who can't afford to pay for private assistance in these matters.
So it's easy to conclude that providing such services has a two-fold negative effect on the state's economy. First, it costs the state to help people fight their addictions, and secondly it costs the economy to have people gain control of their addictions and rein-in their spending habits, thus reducing the state's tax revenues through sales taxes on such things as cigarettes, alcohol, the state lottery, and even the revenues gained by law enforcement seizing drug money.
So when wondering about half-hearted attempts at law enforcement, national border security, the war on drugs, and the poor treatment of the good people at the Department of Human Services, just follow the money.