Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Texas HIV Appropriations

At this point, the appropriations bill is in Conference Committee. Even though both the House and the Senate have recommended that $15 million in new funding be appropriated for HIV, there is still the odd chance that the committee might decide to take that money to pay for something else. We (Texas AIDS Network and allies) have been keeping a close watch on the situation, just in case we needed to take some sort of additional action.

For the time being, we're thinking that it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Why? First, we know that there are some strong allies for HIV on the committee. Senator Zaffirini is practically a one-woman army, and she has a lot of help in unexpected quarters. Second, we spent some time at the capitol on Monday "taking pulses" and checking for indicators that there might be any trouble on the horizon for HIV. What we found was pretty much comforting--no indicators of trouble.

This doesn't mean that we don't have to maintain vigilance, but it does mean that, as the session moves into its final month, there is more reason to be cautiously optimistic that the Texas HIV Medication Program will have the funding that it needs to operate in the coming biennium without cutting services.

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