Davis Seeks $5M for Local Health Departments to Prepare for Bioterrorism
To strengthen California's preparedness for a bioterrorist attack, Gov. Gray Davis (D) yesterday announced plans to provide county health departments with $5 million for disease surveillance, the Sacramento Bee reports. The state is currently providing $1 million to health departments to track communicable diseases, and Davis said he will seek "legislative authorization" to appropriate an additional $5 million (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 12/5). If the funding is approved, each department will decide how to spend the money. Davis said the funds could be used for disease surveillance, laboratory identification, training, communications or information distribution (Contra Costa Times, 12/5). Davis said, "Our local health departments will be the front lines of our defense in the event of a biological or chemical terrorist attack. These funds will strengthen their efforts to protect the health of California" (Office of the Governor release, 12/4). This summer, Davis vetoed a $2 million appropriation for disease surveillance at local health departments, saying that counties should "put up the money" (Sacramento Bee, 12/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.