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Newsom restores $1.5 million to San Francisco's AIDS budget

Newsom restores $1.5 million to San Francisco's AIDS budget

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, after meeting with city board of supervisors budget committee chairman Tom Ammiano, this week announced that he will restore $1.5 million in proposed cuts to the city health department's AIDS budget for fiscal year 2005-2006, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The funding was slated to be cut from 20 AIDS service groups that provide nonmedical programs, including case management, health education, HIV prevention, and treatment advocacy. A spokesperson for Newsom says savings in workers' compensation costs to the city freed up enough money to restore the proposed HIV funding cuts. The city will still spend about $4 million less on AIDS services in fiscal 2005-2006 than during the previous fiscal year due to a steep cut in federal Ryan White Act funding to the region. The city's total AIDS budget for the next fiscal year is $57.5 million. "Our action to restore these funds reflects my commitment to protecting services for our city's most vulnerable residents, especially those suffering from AIDS/HIV," Newsom said in a statement. "Despite the fact that we face yet another historic budget deficit, I am adamant about taking every step possible and finding creative ways to fund the services that needy San Franciscans rely upon." Ammiano, who is openly gay, praised Newsom's decision to restore the AIDS funding. "While I may not always agree with the mayor, in general he has been sympathetic to the need for more AIDS funding," Ammiano told the San Francisco Examiner.

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