Senate Votes to Restore Vetoed AIDS Spending

Times Staff Writer

The state Senate on Thursday voted 31 to 2 to restore $11.6 million, struck from the budget by Gov. George Deukmejian, for AIDS treatment and research.

The money, which would provide a variety of services ranging from educating health workers to counseling victims of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, was part of a comprehensive $25.4-million AIDS program approved by the Legislature as part of its 1985-86 budget package.

In his veto message, Deukmejian said he already had agreed to a major increase in AIDS funding over the previous year. Administration officials also had expressed concern that the additional money might be more than researchers and health officials could use immediately.

Sen. President Pro Tem David A. Roberti (D-Los Angeles), who introduced the bill to restore the funding, said aides to Deukmejian have indicated a new willingness to consider the issue.

'Sending Signals'

He added that the governor's office has been "sending signals out" that it may support restoring about $5 million of the money he struck from the budget. If an agreement is reached, Roberti said he will amend his measure in the Assembly so that it can be quickly approved.

Deukmejian spokesman Bob Taylor said the governor's office was not consulted before Thursday's Senate vote. However, Taylor said there is a "willingness to talk about it."

The Legislature's decision to increase funding for AIDS was based on a report by the state's AIDS Budget Task Force which recommended, among other steps, an additional $1 million for research at the University of California, $1 million for research at other institutions and $2.3 million to make up for expected reductions in AIDS funding by the National Institutes of Health.

In other action, the Senate:

- Approved on a 27-5 vote and sent to the Assembly a bill to provide $50 million for child-care services for about 800,000 children, aged 5 to 13 years, who are not supervised before or after school because they have working parents. The legislation is similar a package of Democratic-sponsored bills for so-called "latchkey children" vetoed last year by Deukmejian.

A spokesman for the governor said he is willing to consider the issue but that his position has not changed. At the time, Deukmejian said the bill would "embark us on a program for a population of over 1 million children at an annual cost of over $1 billion."

- Voted 21 to 9 to approve legislation that would allow a charitable deduction for contributions made through checkoffs on state income tax returns. Currently, contributions to the California Election Campaign Fund, the U.S. Olympic Committee Fund and several others are not tax-deductible. The bill, by Assemblyman Frank Vicencia (D-Bellflower), was sent back to the Assembly for final action.

- Approved on a 30-0 vote and sent to Deukmejian legislation to establish a motorcyclist safety program financed by a $2 increase in annual motorcycle registration fees. The fee increase is expected to generate $1.3 million annually, which would be used to establish rider training programs and finance research.

Similar legislation was vetoed last year by Deukmejian, who questioned the need and effectiveness of the program.

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