San Francisco Supervisor Proposes Using $5 Million From Reserve Account To Avoid Proposed Funding Reductions to Health-Related Programs
At the beginning of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' hearings on Mayor Gavin Newsom's (D) proposed fiscal year 2004-2005 budget Monday, Supervisor Chris Daly proposed taking $5 million from the city's reserve fund to restore proposed reductions to public health services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/18). In his $5 billion budget plan, Newsom proposed reducing public health staff at primary care clinics, closing the dialysis unit at San Francisco General Hospital and reducing supportive services for people with HIV. He also proposed eliminating some jobs and consolidating departments. Most of the eliminated staff positions at the city Department of Public Health would be administrative and middle-management positions (California Healthline, 6/14).
According to the Chronicle, the $5 million Daly proposed taking from the reserve fund -- created in case voters reject a $25 million tax package Newsom has proposed for the Nov. 2 ballot -- would be used to avoid some proposed funding reductions for neighborhood health centers, AIDS programs and other services for low-income and uninsured San Francisco residents. The other $5 million in the reserve fund is intended to cover unanticipated costs in the next fiscal year, but Daly said the money is needed now, the Chronicle reports.
City Controller Ed Harrington said that legislators should not spend money from the reserve account right now because Newsom's budget proposal includes $84.5 million in revenue measures that have yet to be made permanent, the Chronicle reports. Supervisors Gerardo Sandoval and Jake McGoldrick said that Daly's request is premature because the debate over the budget has just begun. Meanwhile, at Tuesday's hearing, patients and health care providers gathered at City Hall to "testify against the reductions that they say will erode care," the Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/18).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.