Minnesota Poison Center Says Funding Needed to Avoid Cuts
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota's Poison Center says it needs more funding from the state, or else it will have to scale back its 24-hour emergency call center.
The state legislature created the call center as part of an integrated poison-control system. But legislators never fully funded it, and the state currently covers half of what's needed to operate the center.
The Poison Center has asked for $800,000 to restore its budget for now. The call center's federal grants were cut a few years ago by more than 30 percent, and Hennepin County Medical Center says its contributions will cease July 1.
The center gets an average of 132 calls a day, with 60 percent of them involving drug overdoses. Cases with children younger than 6 made up 45 percent of calls.