Due to the failure of two city ballot initiatives on November 2 that would have raised San Francisco's sales tax and introduced new business taxes, the city's health commission has approved a plan that cuts $15.5 million from their budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The cuts will affect services for HIV-positive people, the mentally ill, and nurses who visit the chronically ill. The cuts are part of an overall effort by Mayor Gavin Newsom to reduce city spending by $97 million over the next 18 months. HIV services account for about 25% of the health cuts. Nearly 200 people attended a health commission meeting last week to urge health officials to spare some programs from the cuts, particularly those offering support services to people with HIV or cancer. Mitch Katz, director of public health, said the cuts were planned to avoid impacting core services but that some support programs had to be reduced. "We've done our best, but we realize this is not a list to be proud of," said Katz.