Governor's Veto Costs Long Beach Health Department $141,000

The city Health Department lost a chance to receive about $141,000 last week when Gov. George Deukmejian vetoed a bill that would have provided $258,000 for health services in several communities.

"We could have used it," said John Williams, Long Beach deputy city manager. "It certainly would have enhanced our (health department) program," which is operating this year on an $11.8-million budget.

The measure, SB 2778, was designed to rectify what its backers perceived as an inequity in cost-of-living adjustments experienced two years ago when several local health departments received less than the state's county health departments. Besides Long Beach, the bill would have benefited Berkeley, Pasadena and the San Joaquin Local Health District.

Because Long Beach officials did not count on receiving the money when they prepared the Health Department budget, Williams said, the loss will have no immediate visible effect.

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