Florida budget boosts ADAP spending
Lawmakers in Florida have approved a state budget that boosts spending on Florida's AIDS Drug Assistance Program by $11 million, Florida AIDS Action reports. The budget also provides an additional $294,000 for the AIDS Insurance Continuation Program, which pays private health insurance premiums for HIV-positive people who can no longer afford the health coverage. About 13,000 people are served by the Florida ADAP, while more than 1,400 state residents are supported by the AICP. AIDS activists in the state had worried that programs like ADAP, AICP, and the Medically Needy Program would all face funding cuts in light of an ongoing budget deficit in the state. "Due to intense grassroots efforts by AIDS advocates organized by Florida AIDS Action, Floridians living with HIV disease fared better than originally expected," said Florida AIDS Action executive director Gene Copello of the state's newly approved $53.3 billion fiscal 2003-2004 budget.