To the 192nd General Court:
On behalf of the Massachusetts Association of Council on Aging and Senior Center Directors representing 350 communities that have established a municipally based Council on Aging, we express our gratitude for the FY22 budget that included:
- An additional $200,000 in line item 9110-1640 to increase behavioral health services for older adults;
- An additional $1 million to strengthen our Commonwealth’s SHINE Program, from an earmark within line item #9110-1455; and
- $17 million (excluding earmarks) in line item 9110-9002 that will maintain the Formula Grant at $12/elder/year and fully fund the Service Incentive Grant Program.
We are extremely grateful to the legislature and the Governor for the FY22 GAA.
Now as we begin the deliberations over the next year’s budget, we wanted to share with you our FY23 requests for your consideration.
COVID has had a devastating impact on older adults not just in their physical health but also with their behavioral health (e.g. isolation, loneliness, depression, addiction, suicide, mis-medication, etc.). Now, more than ever, any increase to Line Item #9110-1640 would further develop the Behavioral Health Services to our Commonwealth’s 1.7million older adults. The current allocation of $1.2million provides services to less than 40% of the municipalities and we join with advocates from across the Behavioral Health and Elder Care networks requesting $2.5 million for this line item #9110-1640. We are confident that we have 5-7 good projects shovel ready to go to further meet this increased need statewide.
As to Line Item #9110-9002 – Local Aid to municipally based Councils on Aging – this is a more complicated request. Within this line item, two programs are funded: the Service Incentive Grant program (SIG) and the Formula Grant Program (FG). SIG was the original intent of the line item back in FY80 and was established to build capacity, promote regionalization, and foster innovation. The Formula Grant was developed for FY82 using the 1980 US Census results to fund a per capita allocation to augment local budgets that focused on services and programs for older adults. Over the last two decades the Line Item has been split roughly to 90% FG and 10% SIG.
For the last four years, the Legislature has ensured that the Formula Grant has been set at $12/elder/year = “a buck a month” and the Service Incentive Grant Program is fully funded. The line item allocation since FY19 has been set at $17million once the earmarks have been deducted.
The Formula Grant calculation, currently set at $12/elder, is now still set based on the 2010 US Census. The 2020 US Census was to be released last spring in time to be a factor in the FY22 Formula Grant but, due to delays on the Federal side, the calculations based on age are still not available.
The Donahue Institute at UMASS Amherst projects that, because most of the Boomers have turned sixty over the last decade, there will be approximately 450,000 more older adults in our Commonwealth.
|2010 US Census count 60+ Population||2020 US Census estimate of 60+ Population by the Donahue Institute UMASS/ Amherst|
|Increase over 2010 = 448,191|
With 450,000 older adults factored into the Formula, maintaining the 90/10 ratio (FG/SIG) and fully funding SIG, will require $6million more.
As we now anticipate the US Census release sometime this summer, the Governor, in House 2, put a placeholder amount of $22,366,019, which would potentially meet the needs to retain $12/elder/year pledged by the Administration and the Legislature. Since there is no formal release of the actual count, we feel this (House 2) is a good starting point for the discussion on the FY23 budget for line item #9110-9002. We support House 2 preliminary allocation of $22,366,019 for line item #9110-9002 given that an adjustment is likely once the 2020 US Census count by age is formally released.
We are not actively pursuing the SIG portion of the line item at this time but plan to approach the legislature in FY24 for an additional raise of $600,000 to keep the 90/10 proportional split.
To Recap we request for FY23:
Line Item #9110-1640 = $2.5million; and
Line Item #9110-9002 = House 2 $22,366,019 as a starting point.
Thank you for your consideration of these requests and your support of the Commonwealth’s older adults.
Marge Yetman Jayne Colino
MCOA President, & Director, Burlington COA Legislative Chair, & Director, Newton COA
cc: David Stevens, MCOA Executive Director
Background: House 2 – FY23
GERIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES PROGRAM
9110-1640 For the geriatric behavioral health program, including outreach, counseling, resource management, and system navigation for community-dwelling older people with behavioral health needs $1,200,000
GRANTS TO COUNCILS ON AGING
9110-9002 For grants to the councils on aging and for grants to or contracts with non-public entities which are consortia or associations of councils on aging $22,366,019