New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has backed off plans to outsource case management jobs at the city's HIV/AIDS Services Administration, which serves as many as 31,000 HIV-positive New Yorkers with referrals and links to HIV/AIDS services, New York's Gay City News reports. Bloomberg had called for changes to the case management program and to Local Law 49, which created and governs HASA. He also proposed cutting funding for AIDS housing programs by about 10%.
AIDS activists and members of the city council opposed Bloomberg's proposed changes, saying the cuts would have led to more HIV-positive people in the city becoming homeless and could have forced some people out of case management programs. About 200 people protested at a May 14 rally at City Hall.
Bloomberg's proposed cuts and restructuring of HASA would have resulted in a savings of more than $18 million in the city's fiscal 2004 budget, according to City Hall sources. Instead, Bloomberg's final budget proposal calls for an increase in the city's sales tax and the restructuring of other city programs to save more than $75 million.