Pennsylvania Auditor Assails Use Of Some HIV/AIDS Prevention Funds

Philadelphia Inquirer: "The Pennsylvania Auditor General's Office criticized the state's oversight of HIV/AIDS prevention funding Wednesday in a report that alleges more than $700,000 in waste, abuse, and potentially fraudulent spending by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Among their findings, auditors uncovered duplicate invoices totaling $223,000 that were submitted by the city's AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) and paid by the state Department of Health during fiscal 2008, the key period examined. An additional $38,000 was deemed inappropriate, including $13,000 for T-shirts, $7,000 to take college students to a water park in Wildwood, and other money considered incentives for people to participate in HIV-awareness campaigns. Officials for the city and state departments said that all the duplicate payments had since been reconciled, and that changes in monitoring and approval procedures had been, or were being, made. They defended the use of cash incentives, which federal guidelines recommend for risk-reduction programs" (Sapatkin, 5/6).

The Associated Press/Boston Globe: Connecticut's legislature adjourned without a House vote "on two bills that would expand a ban on smoking in the workplace and in hundreds of state-licensed child care facilities. ... Rep. Betsy Ritter is co-chair of the Public Health Committee. She says there wasn't enough time to vote on the two bills in the House of Representatives. Both had passed the Senate" (5/6).

Denver Business Journal: "The Colorado Health Foundation said Wednesday it is granting $17.8 million to 15 community health centers statewide to support operating costs, construction projects and other needs. The foundation said it is supporting health centers around the state at a time when their public funding is being cut. Last year, the cash-strapped state government reduced funding of health centers by $22 million" (5/5).

Twin Cities Pioneer Press: "A health care finance bill that trims Minnesota's current budget deficit by as much as $114 million, preserves MinnesotaCare and covers more of the state's uninsured gained Senate approval Wednesday night despite the threat of a governor's veto. DFL leaders called the bill, which passed 42-19, a sound approach in difficult financial times, because it maximizes federal matching health care funds to the state and secures new health benefits for thousands of poor adults covered by the state's ill-fated General Assistance Medical Care program" (Olson, 5/5).

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