New Proposal Would Restrict Federal And State Funds For Seniors

On Wednesday, March 14, the House Budget Committee will begin marking up the budget, including monies to be allocated to the Area Agencies on Aging for senior programs. According to recent reports, Representative Fitzpatrick will present a proposal to restrict over 80% of General Revenue AND  approximately 20% of federal funds to home delivered meals only. While the home delivered meals programs are an integral part of Area Agencies on Aging outreach services, such legislation would not recognize the broad array of services provided to seniors in Missouri. Specifically, this budget decision could impact funding for Senior Centers throughout the state and the provision of meals served ON-SITE; could lead to the elimination of educational programs that help seniors deal with issues ranging from health care to pension claims; and could impact funding for programs that help seniors cope with elder abuse, fraud and housing options – even people who live in their own homes or in independent rental situations.

Every citizen in Missouri has the right to contact representatives on the House Budget Committee (list attached) and ask them to oppose restricting these funds to a particular program. 

Funding the programs provided by the Area Agencies on Aging has always been something that the Missouri Legislature can agree on, even in years when appropriations were cut due to fiscal restraints. But,  designating certain amounts of AAA funding to one program will have unintended consequences on other critical programs, hampering the flexibility of AAAs to respond to specific needs in their areas, as necessary services will vary per region.

You have the right to contact your local representative, or any member of the Missouri House Budget Committee, before this key decision is made. So many things happen in Jefferson City so quickly that sometimes people do not have the opportunity to respond. This is one chance you have to get ahead of the curve on legislative decisions.



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