Local and Community News
New York City: Bloomberg AIDS Budget Draws Fire
April 23, 2003
AIDS groups and some elected officials are opposing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2004 city budget proposal to privatize jobs at the HIV/AIDS Services Administration, a city agency that serves some 31,000 people with AIDS. The $44.5 billion city budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 must close a $3.8 billion gap, and included among the reductions is a $5 million cut in HIV prevention programs targeting communities of color, the elimination of 29 HASA case manager positions to save $1 million, and moving the Mayor's Office of AIDS Policy Coordination to the health department to save another $1 million.Adapted from:
The budget proposal, however, relies on contributions from the state and federal government as well as state approval of some new taxes. If those funds are not approved, the Bloomberg administration has proposed deeper cuts that could include eliminating 400 HASA jobs to save $18.8 million, cutting AIDS housing contracts by 10 percent to save $4.8 million, and ending service to 4,000 clients. While the proposal offers few details, it appears Bloomberg wants to eventually eliminate 1,300 HASA case manager jobs and contract with AIDS or community groups to handle those responsibilities for the agency's 31,000 clients.
In 1997, City Council enacted Local Law 49, which formally created HASA. Bloomberg first broached the plan in a March 13 speech, when he said Local Law 49 should be amended because it "shortchanges community-based service providers, overlooks the critical role of medical providers, and prevents funds from being used to foster creative new programs."
City Councilmember Christine Quinn, who chairs the health committee, said that "it's clear that the mayor has proposed to do things that he cannot do without the City Council's approval and without changes in Local Law 49. That is not going to happen." A number of AIDS groups are already organizing what they hope will be a 5,000-person protest march against the cuts over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall on April 30.
Gay City News (New York City)
04.18.03; Duncan Osborne
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.