Yesterday, President Obama released his funding proposal for fiscal year 2015. Thanks to the tireless work of House and Senate leaders in reaching a budget accord last fall, looming sequestration cuts were avoided and the Administration was able to retain funding levels for programs of critical importance to the LGBT community. 

Our high level review of the lengthy budget for FY15 reveals that the President has proposed: 

  • Increasing funding for the Ryan White Care programs by $4 million to an overall level of $2.3 billion;
  • Maintaining the funding level of the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which helps low-income individuals living with HIV obtain their medications, at $900 million;
  • Increasing resources for prevention programs targeted at reducing new infections of HIV/AIDS, sexually trans­mitted diseases, tuberculosis, and hepatitis by an additional $52 million. The total proposal for this prevention funding would be $1.1 billion;
  • An additional $211 million for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, increasing the agency’s overall budget to $30.4 billion;
  • Housing assistance through HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program in the amount of $322 million to aid individuals and their families living with AIDS. Access to stable housing, like access to routine medical care, is key component of the HIV Care Continuum, and critical to improving outcomes.

These investments are necessary to reach the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the HIV Care Continuum Initiative to reduce HIV incidence, increase access to care, and reduce HIV-related health disparities.

The President also proposed a $301 million increase in Homeless Assistance Grants to support new permanent supportive housing units and maintain over 330,000 HUD-funded beds that assist the homeless nationwide, many of whom are from the LGBT community. Finally, this year’s budget proposal cut all funding for long-disproven abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education programs, which exclude and often denigrate LGBT youth. 

We’ll continue to dig through the President’s proposal and monitor the federal budget process as it moves forward on Capitol Hill.  Stay tuned to our blog for updates. You can also check out this White House fact sheet about what the budget means for the LGBT community.

Filed under: Federal Advocacy, Community

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