March 16, 2011
The $27.3 billion state budget recently unveiled by Gov. Tom Corbett cuts spending for the Department of Health from $981 million this year to $953 million. Of that money, $3.63 million would be allocated to administrative and operational costs for HIV/AIDS care and $1.38 million for HIV/AIDS surveillance, representing level spending in both categories. The administrative and operational costs for AIDS health education would rise from $4.1 million to $4.36 million.
Overall funds allocated for grants would increase from $24,207,000 to $24,235,000. Grants for AIDS programs would fall from $7.38 million to $7.24 million, while money for HIV care and AIDS Drug Assistance Program rebates would hold steady at $12 million and $1.2 million, respectively. AIDS health education funding would drop from $1.64 million to $1.48 million. Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS would see an increase from $1.96 million to $2.29 million. Assistance for the homeless would decrease from $22.8 million to $22.6 million.
"The substance of this budget is built on four core principles: fiscal discipline, limited government, free enterprise, and reform," Corbett said. The state Legislature has until July 1 to approve the budget, which includes no tax increases and would reduce state spending by about 3.1 percent.
In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter's $3.45 billion budget includes small cuts for city health services and no tax increases. The plan allocates $355 million to the Office of Health and Opportunity. Of that, $125 million would go to public and behavioral health, down from $128 million this year. The state and federal governments typically provide a large portion of health funding.
City housing and homeless assistance would drop from $41 million to $38.9 million. Earlier this month, Nutter's budget address was interrupted by ACT UP members demanding that the City Council devote an additional $2 million to $4 million in housing funds for people with HIV/AIDS.