North Carolina's top public health official says the state is among many that still need federal help in paying for potential public health crises -- including those arising from bio-terrorism. State health director Leah Devlin testified this week before a U-S Senate committee about renewing the four-point-three billion-dollar Bio-terrorism Act of 2002. Some state leaders are worried because they're receiving less money as time passes since the September Eleventh, 2001, terrorist attacks. Devlin told the committee, "Now is NOT the time to be backing up." Under the Bio-terrorism Act, North Carolina received 24-point-six million dollars from the federal government in 2003, but that was cut to 17 million dollars last year. The money is used to help fight terrorism but also to help states prepare for natural threats such as pandemics and hurricanes.
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