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|State Budget Crunch Threatens Some Knox County Health Services
|The Knox County Board of Health will have some tough decisions to make very soon due to state budget cuts that affect the local health department.
Health Department Administrator Greg Chance says the state has slashed 5-million dollars in Local Health Protection grant funds, a move that'll cost the health department around $52,000 this year. Chance says the $105,000 the department expects to receive from the state in Fiscal Year 2009 will barely cover the costs of his environmental health personnel, while the grant in the past has typically only funded about one-third of the services those staff members provide to the county on behalf of the health department.
Chance tells WGIL it's very disconcerting that the state of Illinois wasn't paying its fair share to begin with, and word of cuts to the Local Health Protection grant just compounds the problem.
"It puts the Knox County Board of Health, as well as other boards of health across the state of Illinois, in a very difficult position of having to tell their citizens we have to reduce services because the state of Illinois is not paying their fair share."
Chance says that's what the Knox County Board of Health is going to have to do in the next couple of months. "Look at the programs and services we provide under those activities, like food safety, like communicable disease control, and see where we can cut back or where we need to cut back because the state of Illinois is not paying their fair share."
Chance, during Thursday night's board of health meeting, encouraged board members and others to take their concerns to Springfield so the governor and lawmakers know the potential effects of underfunding public health.
|08 14 08 by Newsroom
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