MCOA Legislative Alert #4 Conference Committee: GREAT NEWS but…


MCOA Members:

 GREAT NEWS from the Conference Committee. They embraced $12/elder in Formula Grant for FY19…one year ahead of schedule. This would also set the minimum allocation to small COAs at $6000/year beginning July 1, 2018.

  • In addition, they included the Mental Health Earmark for $500,000 in Line Item #5046-0000 that will allow our 5 EMHOT projects to continue.
  • However, the calculation to achieve the $12/elder underfunded the Service Incentive Grant program $500,000 (SIG) or approximately 1/3.

Details: via  FY19 Budget Conference Committee Report

Line Item 9110-9002= $17,776,125 with language specifying $12/elder and $1,261,000 in earmarks to local communities

Balance                             $16,515,125                      allocation – earmarks

FG @$12                          $15,453,216                    $ needed to achieve $12/elder with $6000/minimum

Balance/SIG                     $1,061,909

Should have been           $1,564,322                        to be 10% of line item and to continue existing SIG contracts for the third year of three-year contracts

Current Read = $12/elder & 5 EMHOTs but 33% cut to SIG

Next Steps: The House is schedule to conduct an up or down vote (no amendments) today with the Senate vote likely to take place later today. The Governor will then have 10 days to review and veto any $ or language he chooses.  Since Governor Baker was the first to allocate $ for the $12/elder it is unlikely that will change. Thus I believe the $12 with a $6000 minimum is what you should expect this Fiscal Year.

Celebrate: Through all of our efforts we’ve raised the COA Formula Grant 50% in just 4 years- a year ahead of schedule. CELEBRATE!

SIG: MCOA will be working with EOEA to determine how the 33% cut to SIG will impact this year’s SIG program. Stay tuned!

Thank You: Soon as the budget is voted on, and signed by the Governor, it will be time to say thank you. 50% increase in 4 years needs to be acknowledged. The Governor and the full House and Senate need to be profusely thanked. This had bipartisan (both Republicans and Democrats supported) and bicameral (both House and Senate chambers) support. We will let you know when to formally begin your THANK YOU Campaign – probably around August 1st.

MCOA Next Steps: We have already communicated to EOEA our membership driven wish list to have:

  1. Final FY19 allocation by town posted by 30 days post GAA (Governor’s signature) – around Labor Day.
  2. Distribute all or half of the Formula Grant allocation to COAs that are in compliance by October 1st (Application/Budget Completed, FY18 Reconciliation Signed Off Submitted and Annual Report submitted) with the final distribution to take place on January 31, 2019.

Thank all of you for your attention to this campaign- We were successful beyond my wildest dreams. 

David P. Stevens
Executive Director
Massachusetts Councils on Aging
Cell: 413.539.0565