Missouri House Threatens Cuts Over Lack Of Virus Information

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are threatening to make “painful cuts” to a state department’s funding for refusing to release information about a virus that killed a state employee last year.

The Washington Missourian reports that Republican Rep. Justin Alferman first proposed Wednesday at a House budget committee hearing a 10 percent budget reduction for administrative staff at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Republican Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick then threatened even deeper cuts if the committee doesn’t get answers.

Meramec State Park Assistant Superintendent Tamela Wilson died last summer from complications of the rare Bourbon virus after being bitten by an infected tick. DHSS representatives said they weren’t required to release information regarding the virus testing results because of patient privacy laws.

Alferman says the cuts won’t hurt anyone receiving services from the department.

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