March 22, 2011
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Donald Schwartz is warning that the governor's proposed budget could dramatically impact services to the most vulnerable, including people with HIV/AIDS, the mentally ill, and children. "We in city government do understand the need for fiscal responsibility and accept the reality of a still weak, though improving, economy," Schwartz said to a group of state senators and representatives from city agencies at a roundtable panel at Temple University on Friday. "But what we do not understand is the need to balance the budget through a reduction in services to those who need the most -- children, the elderly, those who are homeless, and those with mental illness, HIV or substance-abuse issues." Schwartz said Gov. Corbett's budget reductions for HIV care and lead remediation could cause Philadelphia to lose matching federal funds. Corbett is grappling with a $4 billion deficit in the state's $27.3 billion budget.