Paterson, N.J., City Council’s Reallocation of Federal Ryan White Money Could Jeopardize All HIV/AIDS Funding
The Paterson, N.J., City Council's reallocation of federal Ryan White CARE Act Title I money to 23 HIV/AIDS clinics serving 3,500 people in Bergen and Passaic counties could jeopardize the funding, the New Jersey Herald News reports. The council this month allocated all but $256,307 of the $4,814,704 appropriated by the federal government for the clinics. After reviewing the 2003-2004 allocations for the programs, the council decided to allot each one a lesser amount. Six clinics that were expected to receive funding increases were kept at their 2003 levels, according to the Herald News. Karen Walker, director of HIV services at the Paterson Counseling Center, said that the council does not have the authority to "tamper with" the funding levels that are recommended by the federal government and could jeopardize the entire allocation, according to the Herald News. Council President William McKoy said that because the council is required to approve the funding, council members should help determine how the money is allocated, according to the Herald News. "It is my opinion that whenever the council is asked to vote, they have a say," McKoy said, adding, "It is not a yes-or-no issue. It's making the money fit better." Paterson Business Administrator Eli Burgos said that neither the mayor's office nor the council has decided if the council can legally reallocate the Ryan White funds, the Herald News reports. The council had not made a decision on the remaining funds as of Tuesday, according to the Herald News. Walker said that the clinics are required to submit 2004 budgets to the state government by Friday (Schweber, New Jersey Herald News, 5/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.