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Laid Off Public Health Workers Excluded From Senate Stimulus, Governmental Health Laboratories Slammed by Recession
Date:2/10/2009

SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "The Senate compromise version of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, provides no relief to the thousands of state and local government public health workers laid off because of the economic downturn - including those who work in laboratories," said Scott Becker, Executive Director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. "Unfortunately, the Senate has decided that these workers shouldn't be included in the 4 million jobs that President Obama wants to save or create," said Becker. "We urge the conferees to retain the House language providing $3 billion for prevention and wellness."

"A recent APHL survey of the directors of state and local member laboratories found a number of disturbing trends which ultimately endanger America's health," continued Becker. "Specifically, 80% of respondents have contended with reduced levels of state funding since January 1, 2008."

Some key survey findings:

  • Approximately 96% of government laboratories made these reductions because of the recent economic downturn. APHL estimates government laboratories nationwide have seen their budgets cut by approximately $39 million.

  • Laboratories nationwide either laid off or left unfilled an estimated 429 full-time employees/positions and expect to see another 246 layoffs/unfilled positions in 2009.

  • Eighty-four percent of government laboratories were forced to reduce their spending on much-needed supplies and equipment, for an estimated spending reduction of $14 million nationwide.

"We hoped the Senate would follow the wise lead of the House and provide significant funding increases that would keep these workers employed and allow them to provide critical public health services," said Becke
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SOURCE Association of Public Health Laboratories
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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