New programs for youth of color, trans youth may suffer under budget cuts – by Ethan Jacobs – Staff Reporter

Back in 2007 the Department of Public Health (DPH) took its LGBT youth programs in a bold new direction, focusing its resources on segments of the LGBT youth population thought to be at greatest risk for health and safety problems: youth of color, transgender youth and homeless youth. Yet just as the state is working to develop an infrastructure to serve these young people, the money to fund those efforts is in jeopardy. With state revenues plummeting in the current economic crisis state agencies across the board are being hit with substantial budget cuts; in recent months the House and Senate both eliminated earmarks guaranteeing funding for LGBT youth programs as part of a broader effort to remove earmarks from the Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) budget. Though the FY10 has yet to be finalized, advocates are bracing for the likelihood that the new resources created to serve at-risk LGBT youth will wind up on the chopping block.