On Wednesday, the Massachusetts House of Representatives budget committee released its proposal for Fiscal Year 2014. There was some good news for AARP Massachusetts’ priority issues, but mostly we face another year of insufficient funding for programs important to the elder community in the commonwealth.
The good news:
- Elder Protective Services – Nearly $4.7 million in additional funding for this statewide system for receiving and investigating reports of elder abuse, and for providing needed services to abused elders when warranted.
The bad news:
- The Massachusetts Home Care Program and Enhanced Community Options Program (ECOP) – received level funding from last year, which is a continuation of level funding since 2009 and means there will again be a waiting list for people to receive these services. The Home Care Program provides support services for seniors to allow them to remain at home and out of nursing home care, while the or ECOP is designed for individuals with a higher level of care needs.
- Councils on Aging (COAs) and Senior Centers – received level funding, which is $2.2 million short of keeping pace with the growing senior population and demand for COA services. There are 349 COAs and Senior Centers throughout the commonwealth, providing a vital network in the community for Massachusetts seniors and their families.
Representatives have until 5 p.m., Friday, April 12 th to offer changes to the budget in the form of amendments. The House of Representatives will debate the budget and accompanying amendments the week of Monday, April 22 nd.
Make Your Voice Heard
Sign up to become an AARP Activist to stay up-to-date on important issues, including the state budget, health care payment reform, prescription drugs, long-term services and supports, Medicare, and Social Security. You can also get more involved in your community; email us for information.