California Advocates, Lawmakers Raise Concern Over Governor’s Cuts To HIV/AIDS, Health Care Services
There is growing concern among California HIV/AIDS advocates "that the Golden State will reverse course and see spikes in new HIV cases after Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this week further slashed the state Office of AIDS budget in order to deal" with a more than $20 billion deficit, the Bay Area Reporter reports (Bajko, 7/30). David Brinkman, executive director of the Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs, which provides services to people living with HIV in the area, said, "This is the worst-case scenario cut. It's going to cut, possibly eliminate [HIV] education" (Brambilla, Desert Sun, 7/29).
Schwarzenegger made the cuts by line-item veto, which, according to the California Constitution, "allows a governor to reduce or eliminate 'items of appropriation' without vetoing an entire bill," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "Democratic leaders now question whether their reductions in such services as in-home care and AIDS prevention were 'items of appropriation' that the Republican governor could legally cut further," according to the Chronicle. State Assembly member John Pérez (D), who chairs the Democratic caucus, said he has sought legal counsel on the matter (Egelko, 7/30). Other lawmakers said they will fight to restore some of the cuts to health care services ("L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 7/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.