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In 2016, The Center for Community Solutions released a report on syringe services programs (SSPs) in Ohio, which provided information on the programs that existed at that time, including those developed in response to the state’s 2015 change in regulations authorizing the programs. Syringe services programs prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C by providing sterile equipment to people who inject drugs, as well as safe disposal for used injection supplies. In 2016, only six Ohio cities or counties operated SSPs: Cleveland (1995), Columbus (2016), Cincinnati (2014), Dayton (2015), Portsmouth (2011) and Gallia County (2016). Over the last two years, in response to rising HIV and hepatitis C rates, 10 additional programs were created.
In mid-March, Governor Mike DeWine introduced the details of his first state budget, after he previewed several initiatives in the weeks before the budget’s announcement. Overall, the 2020-2021 budget is framed as an investment in Ohio’s future. DeWine stated that “for too long, we’ve tinkered at the margins” and stated his administration is dedicated to making significant investments in programs and systems where improved outcomes may take years to achieve. In this edition of State Budgeting Matters, The Center for Community Solutions has examined the budgets of key health and human services agencies including the Ohio Departments of Health, Job and Family Services, Medicaid, Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health and Addiction Services and Aging, which contain many of the key initiatives of the DeWine administration.
Cleveland, like most communities around the country, is a place where your life outcomes can be determined by your ZIP code, and where people who are black face significantly more challenges than white people.
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