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Missouri lawmakers cut health agency budget over virus data

A panel of Missouri House lawmakers has slashed the budget for the state health department's administration for not providing information about a virus that killed a state employee.

The House Budget Committee on Wednesday voted to cut funding for 10 staffers and halve the budget for the director's office.

Committee Vice Chairman Justin Alferman earlier pledged cuts if the Department of Health and Senior Services didn't release testing information on the rare Bourbon virus in Missouri.

Meramec State Park Assistant Superintendent Tamela Wilson died last summer from complications from the virus. An infected tick bit Wilson.

The health department has said releasing information about testing would violate patient privacy laws. The deputy director again declined to provide data to the House committee Wednesday.