Delaware Legislature Committee Fails To Take Action on Bill That Would Have Required Medical Improvements in State Prisons
The Delaware Joint Finance Committee on Thursday failed to take action on a bill (SB 291) -- which would require all inmates in the state to be tested for HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis -- by not allocating the necessary $30 million in funding in the Delaware Department of Correction's budget for fiscal year 2007, the Wilmington News Journal reports (Jackson/Parra, Wilmington News Journal, 5/19). The bill also would require that prison guards be trained as medical caregivers and that they be able to assist in childbirth (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/14). State Senate Judiciary Committee Chair James Vaughn (D) said that the measure would not be considered in part because of a report from the state controller general's office detailing its fiscal impact. He said that the bill "added $30 million to correct the problem, and if we're spending $30 million to fix a $29 million system, we're really in a mess," adding, "We need to get a real picture of what's going on before we do anything like that." Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D), who introduced the bill, said she will advocate for the bill's passage again next year. The state General Assembly adjourns for the year on June 30 (Wilmington News Journal, 5/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.