Iowa Senator Tom Harkin met with state officials from the Emergency Management, Ag and Health Department Friday to get a briefing on state plans to deal with an avian flu outbreak. Harkin, a democrat, says the needs of state and local officials are a concern in federal plans. Harkin says he is concerned that the administration’s plan calls on the states to pay for part of the bill for stockpiling vaccine. Harkin says his plan spends seven-point-nine billion dollars on preparedness, while the administration’s plan spends about seven-point-two billion. He says the extra money is important to allow the states to implement their plans.Harkin says the money should come from the federal government just like hurricane funding and should not have to be offset by spending cuts.
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