MCOA Membership

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:

  1. co-sponsor the Farley-Bouvier COA Floor Amendment, by emailing her aid Lisa Fletcher Udel at to confirm support; and
  2. co-sponsor the Balser Geriatric Mental Health floor amendment, by emailing her aid Dmitriy Gridnev at to confirm support.

Co-Sponsor Deadline Friday April 12th at noon.


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

TAKE ACTION TODAY- Call your Representative now…In May we will focus on the Senate

House Member contact info at

Background COA Amendment

Lead Sponsor: State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, 3rd Berkshire

Legislative Aide: Lisa Fletcher Udel  413-442-4300

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

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Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138