Miss. Health Dept. seeks money as reserve runs dry

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Health Department says it needs more money in the coming budget year or it may have to close clinics and reduce AIDS drug purchases.

Dr. Mary Currier, the state health officer, tells the House Appropriations Committee that the department has been draining internal reserves to stay afloat last year and this year. She says said accounts will be almost empty when the current budget year ends June 30.

The Health Department is spending about $4 million from reserves this year.

Currier says Wednesday that the department needs $32.5 million in state money, well above the $26.5 million it’s getting now. Legislative budgeters recommend $20.7 million for the coming year.

Currier says Mississippi must put up about $2 million more to match federal AIDS funding.