I just got off the phone with District 1 Councilwoman Delia Jasso, who was kind enough to step outside and call me during the City Council’s still ongoing budget briefing. Jasso reported that the council has voted down an amendment from Angela Hunt that would have reinstated $250,000 that has been cut from the budget for HIV/AIDS services.
Jasso said the amendment was defeated by a vote of 9-6 in a straw poll, over concerns that the funding source — collection of delinquent multi-tenant inspection fees — doesn’t really exist. Jasso said the amendment was supported by herself, Hunt, Pauline Medrano, Carolyn Davis, Linda Koop and Steve Salazar. Jasso added that a majority of the council supports the HIV/AIDS programs themselves, just not the proposed funding mechanism for Hunt’s amendment. She said councilmembers have directed City Manager Mary Suhm to identify another, more reliable funding source. Jasso said the city has also applied for two grants, totalling $500,000, to fund HIV/AIDS education and prevention. The council is expected to finalize the 2009-10 budget Sept. 23.
“We’ll find something out next week, but it is an ongoing thing in terms of how she [Suhm] can reprogram some money,” Jasso said. “It may be that we don’t get anything until January and it goes without for a few months.”
There’s no word on how a delay in funding would affect the HIV/AIDS programs at places like AIDS Interfaith Network and Resource Center Dallas, given that a large portion of the money is used to pay staff members’ salaries.