California AIDS Groups Applaud Gov. Davis for Fiscal Year 2002-2003 Budget Increases for ADAP, Despite State’s $12B Shortfall
California Gov. Gray Davis (D) yesterday unveiled his proposed $100 billion fiscal year 2002-2003 budget, which would increase funds for the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program and fund a number of other AIDS-related programs at FY 2001-2002 levels, despite the state's estimated $12 billion budget deficit, the Los Angeles Times reports (Tamaki et al., Los Angeles Times, 1/11). The proposed budget includes $283.4 million for HIV/AIDS prevention, education, care and treatment programs, including a $22.4 million increase for the state ADAP, according to the state Department of Finance ( 2002-2003 Governor's Budget Summary, 1/10). ADAP provides HIV drugs and other treatments to low-income individuals who lack adequate health insurance. The $22.4 million increase includes a $2 million boost for the diagnostic assay program (Project Inform release, 1/10). The program covers the cost of resistance and viral load tests, which help doctors "maximize treatment" of HIV/AIDS, for low-income individuals (L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center release, 1/10).
'Praise' for Davis
AIDS activist groups "praised" Davis' budget proposal (Los Angeles Times, 1/11). Daniel Montoya, director of government affairs at AIDS Project Los Angeles, said, "Considering the tough economic situation the state of California faces, this budget offers much hope for people living with HIV/AIDS" (APLA release, 1/10). According to Anne Donnelly, public policy director for Project Inform, "With this budget proposal, Gov. Davis has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing life-prolonging treatment to people with HIV/AIDS" (Project Inform release, 1/10). L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Executive Director Gwenn Baldwin added, "The governor came through for the HIV/AIDS community by fully funding ADAP without cutting funding for other HIV programs." However, the group expressed concern that the budget did not restore $4 million in funds for HIV education and prevention cut from last year's budget (L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center release, 1/10).