Friday, March 27, 2009

Budget cuts even affect the dead

From the NY Post:

Jewish and Muslim burial rituals are in danger if the state doesn't cough up more cash for the Medical Examiner's office, city officials warned today.

"Respecting the religious beliefs of the dead, and the families who interact with us on a daily basis, is very important," city Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch told the City Council Health Committee this morning. "This budget reduction will greatly impact (our) ability to meet the needs of people of the Jewish and Islamic faiths in particular, religions which require the expeditious burial of remains."

The city ordered the ME's budget be cut by $7 million for Fiscal Year 2010, and the state is threatening to withhold $18.4 million in reimbursements to the city office.

As a result, Hirsch said, his office will not have the staff or resources to expedite burials as quickly as the religions demand

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