New York Legislature Passes Budget That Allocates $2.3B To HIV/AIDS Programs, Restores Majority of Funding Cuts
The New York Legislature on Thursday passed an $89.6 billion budget that allocates $2.3 billion to fight HIV/AIDS, the New York Daily News reports (Katz, New York Daily News, 5/17). AIDS activists said that the budget restores the majority of the $7.9 million Gov. George Pataki (R) had proposed cutting from the state's AIDS Institute, which funds and operates HIV/AIDS programs across the state (Kriss, Syracuse Post-Standard, 5/16). The budget also allocates nearly $5 million to anti-AIDS efforts targeted at black and Latino populations, which represent 80% of new HIV infections in the state (McKinley, New York Times, 5/17). Of the funding slated for minority-focused efforts, $4 million will go toward the new "HIV/AIDS in Communities of Color Initiative," and nearly $1 million will be used to support organizations that provide substance abuse and HIV/AIDS services. The budget plan also restores $4.5 million in cuts to community-based AIDS service groups and boosts Medicaid funding for 15 AIDS adult health care programs by 3%. In addition, the budget restores $1.75 million of the $2.5 million in cuts proposed by the governor for antiretroviral drug adherence and permanency planning programs. AIDS groups were pleased with the budget's funding for programs targeting minorities. "This budget includes a strong public health response to the crisis of HIV/AIDS in communities of color," Michael Kink, legislative counsel for the AIDS service provider Housing Works, said (Housing Works release, 5/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.