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Hepatitis C Pilot Project among Key Programs in Budget

For immediate release:

State funds heading to health programs, education and local projects

(Sacramento) - The State Assembly passed several bills today necessary to enact the budget. Among the key provisions approved by the Legislature were several programs to improve health, education, and local projects throughout the state.

"For the communities I represent, this budget takes important steps towards providing working families needed relief and opportunities for those individuals looking to build a better life," states Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson).

"The budget approves a 3-year Hepatitis C Linkage to Care pilot project that will offer grants to community-based organizations to provide outreach, screening, and quality health care for individuals with, or at high risk of hepatitis C. As Chair of the Select Committee on Infectious Diseases in High Risk Disadvantaged Communities, I authored Assembly Bill 383 this year to require primary healthcare clinics to offer Hepatitis C screening, and have seen the devastating effects this affliction has on underserved communities. I'm proud to have helped bring needed attention to the 600,000 Californians living with this disease, and of the actions taken in this budget to improve their lives.

"Schools and education also remain a top priority in the budget. Together, the Assembly was able to secure an additional $97 million for the California State Universities that includes $250,000 for the Mervyn Dymally Institute at CSU Dominguez Hills. Furthermore, $25 million will go to the University of California system to expand in-state student enrollment totals, following an oversight hearing I conducted as Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee back in January regarding the UC's using out-of-state student tuition to increase revenue.

"Local parks projects were given extensions for outstanding developments, including nearly $3 million for the East Wilmington Greenbelt Expansion. This would not only improve the quality of life for the Wilmington residents who will be able to use this park, but it will fuel economic activity through construction and related jobs in the region."

Mike Gipson represents the 64th Assembly District. The district includes the cities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington.

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