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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Budget That Cuts $52 Million From HIV/AIDS Programs

July 29, 2009

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Tuesday signed a state budget in which he made $489 million in line-item veto cuts that "will affect child welfare and children's health care, the elderly, state parks and AIDS treatment and prevention, going beyond the dramatic cuts that were part of the deal Schwarzenegger negotiated with legislative leaders," the Los Angeles Times reports (Rothfeld/Goldmacher, 7/28). "Services for people with AIDS, which had previously been spared by the Legislature, were reduced by $52 million by Schwarzenegger on Tuesday. That cut will mean no state spending on HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, education or housing services for people with the disease. The state will continue paying for AIDS medications and for tracking the epidemic," the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Buchanan, 7/29).

Schwarzenegger said, "The legislators have given me a budget with a $156 million negative reserve, so now I had to go in over this weekend and work with my team and make additional cuts." He added, "That’s ugly, when already we have cut so much, and then we had to make additional cuts" (Steinhauer, New York Times, 7/28). Mark Cloutier, executive director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said of the cuts to HIV/AIDS programs, "This means there are going to be more people who are HIV-positive who are unwittingly infecting others" (Buchanan, 7/29).

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