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AARP Pennsylvania Issues Statement on the Governor’s Proposed Budget

PA Governor Tom Wolf

AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh  released the following statement in response to Governor Wolf’s 2021-22 budget address:

“Governor Wolf ‘s state budget proposal protects funding for many AARP priorities, including lottery-funded home and community based services, improving broadband access, maintaining property tax and rent rebate assistance, supporting Alzheimer’s outreach, and investing in training for direct care workers.  With over 3.2 million residents age 60 and older, maintaining current funding levels for those assistance programs will provide essential help for those who choose to age in place in their homes and communities.”

“At the same time, AARP Pennsylvania remains quite concerned that the coronavirus pandemic continues to exploit the most vulnerable among us.  In particular, nursing home residents and staff remain sitting ducks for coronavirus. While an investment in county and municipal health departments was proposed as a way to help increase local capacity to fight COVID-19, the overdue fundamental reform of how nursing homes protect the health and safety of their residents was not.  Pennsylvania must use what it has learned during the pandemic to address our long-term care facilities - not just for our parents and older loved ones, but for all of us who will someday need to choose how we spend our final years.”

“To date, Pennsylvanians age 50 and older have accounted for 98 percent of all deaths from COVID-19.  Vaccine supply issues aside, Pennsylvania is among sixteen states that have administered less than half the doses received.  The delays we are experiencing in getting vaccine into the arms of state residents is simply unacceptable.  Pennsylvania must do a better job getting COVID-19 vaccines safely, equitably, and effectively distributed, and provide clear information about when, where, and how vaccines can be accessed and offer assistance in doing so.”

“AARP Pennsylvania looks forward to working with the Governor and members of the General Assembly throughout the budget process, and stands ready to support all efforts to fight the pandemic and protect all Pennsylvanians.”

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