Statement by Ollie Besteiro, AARP Texas president, on April 3 passage of HB 1 by Texas House of Representatives:
This approach to balancing the state budget dishonors Texas’ elders. As passed, House Bill 1 cuts spending for critical senior services by as much as one third. Spending cuts of this magnitude would force staffing reductions and could close some nursing homes, putting 54,000 Texas nursing home residents in danger. These cuts would also jeopardize the independence and health of 125,000 seniors receiving community based long term care programs by reducing the supply of home care workers. While we appreciate the difficult choices faced by our Legislature, balancing the state budget on the backs of elderly Texans does not do our state proud. Our members have told us clearly that they oppose cuts in health and human services – including long-term care for older persons – as an approach to balance the state budget. We hope the Senate will have a more enlightened approach to dealing with our current shortfall.