MCOA Membership: We need Co-Sponsors
We need Senators to sign on to be a Co-Sponsor of the following amendments. They can sign on thru Monday, May 20th using their internal system “quill”. Each of you to contact your Senators and make the case to restore funding to the Service Incentive Grant (SIG) program and increase funding for Elder Mental Health Outreach Teams (EMHOT). Even if you do not currently benefit from either a SIG grant or are in a catchment area of an EMHOT, we ask you to consider the impact that the 28% SIG shortfall has on the network and also consider the need to expand geriatric mental health services beyond the five existing regions. Currently each amendment has less than a handful of co-sponsors; we need two dozen to be actively considered.
MCOA Membership should recognize that certain members because of leadership position cannot sign onto amendments; in addition some members prefer not to sign onto multiple statewide initiatives to focus on local needs. We ask that you simply thank them for at least considering our request.
- Amendment # EHS 655 Grants to Councils on Aging:
Ms. Rausch, Ms. Jehlen, Messrs. Brady and Moore moved that the proposed new text be amended in section 2, in item 9110-9002, by striking out the figure “$16,740,125” and inserting in place thereof the figure:- “$17,225,000”.
This will maintain the Formula Grant at $12/elder and restore the FY18 midyear 9c cut.
- Amendment # EHS 578 Mental Health for Older Adults
Mr. Cyr, Ms. Jehlen and Mr. Eldridge moved that the proposed new text be amended in section 2, in item 9110-1640, by striking out the figure “$500,000″ and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- “$800,000”.
This will allow expansion of two-three new projects.
Your Senator’s contact Information can be found at https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Members/Senate
- Action Steps: Line Up staffers, board members and consumers; Call Your Senators; Make the above requests; Say “THANK YOU FOR CONSDIERING THIS REQUEST”; then Hang Up and Hand the Phone to the next in line… Use email as well or this Friday’s office hours…
Background SIG Funding
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 Senate Ways and Means has already included $225,000 within this line item so the final requested allocation is $17,225,000. If additional earmarks are added please make sure the language is accompanied by the requisite allocation.
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. That year 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. These grants for the most part are competitive demonstration grants that promote regionalization and innovation.
In FY19 the SIG grants were cut by 28% to make the $12/elder Formula Grant a reality as specified by the Legislature. The grants detailed above were all cut.
FY20: The language in SWM budget underfunds the line item #9110-9002 by $484,875. If this shortfall stands then the SIG would be reduced 28% again in FY20. We need $17,225,000 which includes earmarks already proffered by SWM.
Background Elder Mental Health
Restored Line Item 9110-1640 (previously an earmark) states “For the geriatric mental health program, including outreach, counseling, resource management and system navigation for community-dwelling elders with mental health needs ……………………………………………………… $500,000”
We request an additional $300,000 for a total of $800,000 to establish 2-3 more projects through a competitive grant process. More details on the existing five projects: EMHOT Fact Sheet
Thank you for your attention to this matter
David P. Stevens, Executive Director, Massachusetts Councils on Aging