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Title X funding rejected, Family Planning Program in jeopardy

 

By Michael Howell

A motion to accept some year-end surplus funds for the Family Planning Program and the renewal of the Nurse Practitioner’s contract for FY 2014 failed to pass on a two to one vote last Wednesday, June 19, with two commissioners absent. The motion failed even though two commissioners, Greg Chilcott and J.R. Iman, voted in favor of it. Commissioner Ron Stoltz cast the lone dissenting vote. But that single no vote was enough for the motion to fail, according to Chilcott. He said that state law requires a majority of the Board members, not a majority of those present, to pass a motion. He said if all three had approved it, it would have passed. However, the issue is not dead. The meeting was continued to Thursday, June 27 at 8:30 a.m., and the motion will be reconsidered when all five commissioners are present, according to Chilcott.

The County Board of Health, with Chilcott sitting in for Commissioner Jeff Burrows, recommended acceptance of the surplus funds from the state.

“But there were concerns about accepting it,” said Chilcott. He said it was only about $1,270 spread over three months, through September. But the County was being required to commit to run the full program. He said that FY 2014 funding had not yet been assured.

“We would be committing to a real expense of about $10,500, but we’re only being assured of the $1,270,” said Chilcott. “It didn’t add up.” But since then, according to Chilcott, the state has sent a letter of assurance that at least $10,000 would be made available in the FY 2014 funding. The Nurse Practitioner contract was for implementing the FY 2014 Family Planning Program.

Commissioner Stoltz did not return a telephone call for comment on Monday. But Commissioner Chilcott said that he shared Stoltz’s concerns about aspects of the Family Planning Program such as questions of parental notification.

“There is good and bad in it,” said Chilcott. “You have to weigh the benefits versus those concerns.”

Public Health Nurse Judy Griffin said that she was sorry to see the surplus funds passed up.

“But without a Nurse Practitioner, there will be no Family Planning Program in Ravalli County,” said Griffin.

 

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