In addition to the floor amendment to the FY20 House Ways and Means Budget to fully fund the Service Incentive Grant Program (SIG) and level fund the Formula Grant Program at $12/elder/year sponsored by Elder Affairs Vice Chair Tricia Farley-Bouvier:
“… Ms. Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield, moves to amend the bill in section 2, in item 9110-9002 by striking the figures $16,515,125″ and” , and inserting in place thereof the figures “$17,000,000” (see MCOA Alert FY20 #2A);
MCOA’s membership has also endorsed a request to increase funding for Line Item #9110-1640 Geriatric Mental Health. This newly re-established Line Item (previously an earmark) is level funded at $500,000; Elder Affairs Chair Ruth Balser has submitted
“… Ms. Balser of Newton, moves to amend the bill in section 2, in item 9110-1640 by striking the figures $500,000″ and” , and inserting in place thereof the figures “$800,000”
This will allow 2-3 new projects to be established. These demonstration grants are testing behavioral health interventions with our older populations across our Commonwealth.
Call your Representative today and ask him/her to:
- co-sponsor the Farley-Bouvier COA Floor Amendment, by emailing her aid Lisa Fletcher Udel at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm support; and
- co-sponsor the Balser Geriatric Mental Health floor amendment, by emailing her aid Dmitriy Gridnev at Dmitriy.Gridnev@mahouse.gov to confirm support.
Co-Sponsor Deadline Friday April 12th at noon.
TAKE ACTION TODAY- Call your Representative now…In May we will focus on the Senate
House Member contact info at https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Members/House
Background COA Amendment
Lead Sponsor: State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, 3rd Berkshire
Legislative Aide: Lisa Fletcher Udel 413-442-4300 email@example.com
Line Item 9110-9002 is comprised of two parts: The Formula Grant (FG) and the Service Incentive Grant (SIG). At $12/elder the total needed for the FG is $15,453,216. That includes a minimum of $6000 for smaller COAs. The SIG grant portion traditionally have been 10% above the FG figure or in this case $1,545,322 for a total of $16,998,538 or $17m.
The original source of the short funding can be traced to the FY18 “9c cut” of this line item of 3% and was never restored. In FY18 the Secretary actually lowered the FG allocation to $9.70/elder and level funded the SIG contracts.
In FY18 the EOEA Secretary approved SIG funding for local transportation and outreach projects; statewide licenses for Benefits Checkup and Aging Mastery Programs; job fair, housing, and benefits counseling programs; diversity training, retirement planning, and caregiver support; training and technical assistance for COA staff and board; systems inventory; support for age and dementia friendly initiatives; a grant writer who brings into the COA network 15x her salary; and oversight of the elder mental health demonstration projects. In FY19 these grants were cut by 28% to make the $12/elder Formula Grant a reality.
The language in both FY20 House 1 and HWM specifies $12/elder but underfunds the line item #9110-9002 by $484,875. If this shortfall stands then the SIG would be reduced 28% again in FY20.
Background Geriatric Mental Health Amendment
9110-1640 For the geriatric mental health program, including outreach, counseling, resource management and system navigation for community-dwelling elders with mental health needs …………………………………………………………………. $500,000