$365.8 Million In FY97 Funding Increases Approved For Federal AIDS Care, Prevention, Research Programs
Constituents rally, defeat HIV provisions in Immigration Reform bill
October 1, 1996
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Clinton's signing last night of the $600 billion FY '97 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations bill [H.R. 3610] marked more than just final resolution to a budget process that last year resulted in a four-week government shutdown. For Americans living with HIV and AIDS, the $365.8 million increase in funding for federal AIDS care, prevention, and research programs contained in the FY '97 catchall funding bill represents a decisive victory. That victory was made even sweeter when AIDS advocates achieved an eleventh-hour deletion of egregious provisions in the Immigration Reform bill [H.R. 2202] - which had been folded into the onmnibus appropriations measure - that would have denied publicly-funded HIV testing and care to legal immigrants and undocumented individuals.
"These funding increases will go a long way toward easing the burden on the myriad AIDS programs in communities across the nation involved in the fight against AIDS," said AIDS Action Interim Executive Director Fred Miller."By hard work and perseverance, AIDS Action and our grassroots network of advocates across the United States have helped secure the funding needed to enable communities to respond to the AIDS epidemic on the local level."
Miller added that the funding increases achieved were made sweeter by the defeat of the blatantly discriminatory HIV provisions in the Immigration Reform bill. "It was a tough legislative season to the very end. Fortunately for the people whom we represent, AIDS Action's efforts have paid off handsomely,"Miller said.
AIDS Action counts among its victories:
The unprecedented accomplishments in the Omnibus Appropriations bill follow last week's success in achieving increased funding for AIDS housing in the FY '97 VA/HUD Appropriations bill [H.R. 3666] which was passed and signed into law late last week. AIDS Action's success in obtaining an additional $25 million for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program for FY '97 was remarkable given the extremely tight funding for HUD programs in the VA/HUD appropriations bill. This increase will make a total of $196 million available for FY '97. These additional funds will provide housing services to an additional 6,700 people and families living with HIV and AIDS.
"We scored major victories this month that will benefit people living with AIDS and those dedicated to providing them with life-extending care and services," Miller said. "We welcome the approach of the 105th Congress and hope to continue to work to ensure adequately funded programs and a better quality of life for those living with HIV and AIDS."
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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.