Dear Senator,
The Senate Ways and Means FY20 Budget was just released and it did not include restoration of the FY18 “9c” cut to Line Item #9110-9002.Though the $12/elder Formula Grant is intact, the available funds for the SIG Program in FY20 continues the shortfall of 28%.
We request to fully fund the Service Incentive Grant Program (SIG) and level fund the Formula Grant Program at $12/elder/year.  Our total request for Line Item #9110-9002, Local Aid to Municipal Councils on Aging, is $17 million for FY20. SWM have already added $225,000 in earmarks for local projects, thus our amendment request will be for $17,225,000. If additional earmarks are added please make sure the allocation reflects the increase or said earmarks could jeopardize both the Formula Grant and the Service Incentive Grant
Elder Affairs Vice Chair Becca Rausch will file a floor amendment to:
“… Ms. Rausch of Needham, moves to amend the bill in section 2, in item 9110-9002 by striking the figures $16,740,125″ and” , and inserting in place thereof the figures “$17,225,000”
We seek your support. Please contact Senator Rausch by emailing her aide Caroline Sherrard at Caroline.Sherrard@masenate.gov  to confirm support.
Lead Sponsor: State Senator Becca Rausch, of Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex
Legislative Aide:  Caroline Sherrard at (617) 722-1555     Caroline.Sherrard@masenate.gov
Background
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.  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 these grants were cut by 28% to make the $12/elder Formula Grant a reality as specified by the Legislature.
The language in both SWM budget proposals for FY20 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.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
On behalf of the 350 municipal Councils on Aging
David P. Stevens
Executive Director
Massachusetts Councils on Aging
Cell: 413.539.0565

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Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

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Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138