For Immediate Release: January 23, 2014
HUDSON VALLEY AND LONG ISLAND LAWMAKERS PARTNER FOR INCREASED LYME AND TICK FUNDING IN NEW YORK AFTER YEARS OF CUTS
ALBANY, NY – New York State Senator Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) have introduced the Research Aid for Tick-Borne Diseases Act (TickRAID Act), S.5983/SA8425-A, in both the Senate and Assembly that would provide the New York State Department of Health’s Tick Borne Disease Institute with a $1 million appropriation to promote research, detection, education and outreach on tick-borne illness through a competitive grant process. Previous funding has been cut by almost 50 percent over the past 6 years.
“I look forward to working with Assemblyman Thiele to ensure that New York State properly funds Lyme and tick-borne illness research and education,” said Senator Gipson. “New Yorkers, especially in the Hudson Valley and Long Island, are facing a serious health crisis everyday as a result of Lyme and tick-borne illness.”
“I am proud to join with Senator Gipson in calling for the resources we need to better understand these potentially incapacitating diseases,” said Assemblyman Thiele. “The extent and severity of the Lyme disease cases on the East End has escalated to the point of a public health crisis.”
The Tick-Borne Disease Institute has been underfunded and has experienced significant cuts from $150,000 in 2008 to under $70,000 in 2013, despite the fact that the spread of Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses in New York State has been growing astronomically in the past few years. In August 2013, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that there is at least ten times the number of people affected with Lyme disease than was previously reported. The TickRAID Act would provide the Tick-Borne Disease Institute the appropriate funding in order to provide grants for organizations in New York to execute proper research, detection, education and outreach efforts.
“New York State must acknowledge this issue and take action immediately,” concluded Assemblyman Thiele.
“I urge the State Legislature to pass the TickRAID Act and include proper funding for Lyme and tick-borne illness in the 2014 State Budget,” concluded Senator Gipson. “Lyme and tick-borne illness knows no political stripes, and New York must take meaningful action on this very important health issue. I remain committed to fighting for this legislation, as well as my TickBITE Act to ensure that those impacted by Lyme and tick-borne illness receive the care they deserve.”