New Jersey legislators are looking for ways to avoid charging low-income residents for HIV medications. But under Democratic Governor Jon Corzine’s proposed $29.8 billion budget, the state will collect $1.36 million by implementing co-payments for those who currently receive free HIV medication through the state, reports.

According to the article, Lou Greenwald (D–Camden), chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, suggested that the state pull funding for a transportation program that benefits people living with HIV in order to keep the proposed co-payments out of the final budget. Heather Howard, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Senior Services, said that the agency is willing to discuss alternatives.

The proposed co-payments, which are derived from an income-based sliding scale, are part of Corzine’s effort to offset record revenue losses caused by the poor economy. State legislators must pass a balanced budget by June 30.