New York Budget Includes $200 Million for Not-for-Profits; AIDS Groups Face Cutbacks
The New York Legislature and Gov. George Pataki (R) have reached a budget agreement that includes $200 million for not-for-profit organizations, including AIDS groups, an amount that is smaller than what these groups traditionally receive, the New York Times reports (McKinley, New York Times, 10/24). In August, the state enacted a "stripped-down" $80 billion budget that included little money for social programs. In his budget blueprint, Pataki proposed either "leaving out social service programs" from the budget or cutting their funding. State lawmakers had planned to "bargain" with Pataki on including supplemental funding for social programs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/8). The new budget agreement includes $200 million for not-for-profit programs, with $100 million allocated to each house of the Legislature to distribute to the groups. The final budget agreement will include criteria specifying how the money will be distributed so that "the most critical needs are met." However, many not-for-profit groups, including AIDS organizations, face "severe cutbacks," as they typically receive $300 million to $500 million per year. Michael Kink of Housing Works, a group that works to secure housing for homeless people with HIV/AIDS, expressed concern that the funds "might be misused for pork barrel programs" such as "trout ponds at the sportsmen's club and Little Leagues." He added that the funding "should go to front-line groups providing vital services" (New York Times, 10/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.