STATUS UPDATE: House/Senate Work Group Looking For Replacement To HCB3

Dear Senior Advocates: This past summer the Governor vetoed HCB 3 which had the effect of :

  1. Raising Level of Care points for in home services from 21 to 24;
  2. Cutting Medicaid provider reimbursement rates by 3% (this includes AAA Home delivered meals);
  3. Cutting about $250,000 from the Alzheimer’s Association programs;
  4. Eliminating the $1 m increase for AAAs for needed programs.

Originally the House had wanted to fund these things by eliminating circuit breaker for seniors an disabled people who rent. MA4 opposed this, along with AARP, the CILS and the Alzheimer’s Association, among others. The Senate came up with a new funding mechanism, called a fund sweep (a method with much precedent). The Governor vetoed this revised approach.

Subsequently, the House and Senate leadership appointed a  Work Group to address this funding issue.

The Republican leadership and the Republican majority on the Work Group are insisting they must go back and cut circuit breaker, even though the Democrats on the group and advocacy groups like AARP have brought other options to the table. These are the changes the Republicans are currently considering:

  • Reducing the cap of $1100 for homeowners and $750 for renters
  • Lowering the maximum income for a senior to be eligible for the credit
  • Raising the age from 65 to 70 for eligibility
  • Eliminating the credit for people already receiving state aid to live in nursing homes/other care facilities

These are a few of the options the Democrats have suggested:

  • Modifications to the timely filing discounts for business (state pays businesses $170m +/year to file their taxes on time)
  • Modifying the discount to business for paying taxes on time from 2% tax liability reduction to a 1% reduction (more than enough to fund the cuts; and it is multi-national corporations who are the primary beneficiaries of this benefit

It should be noted that the Governor’s Commission on Taxes, in their final report, did NOT recommend cutting circuit breaker, but rather looking at OTHER tax credits for reform and or reduction. The Work Group will be taking their recommendations to the Governor SOON and will be asking for a special session to be called this month.

  • Time to act. Please contact members you know on this task force (listed below).
  • Please contact the House and Senate Leadership.
  • Message: Protect our seniors and preserve circuit breaker. There are other ways to fund the cuts. Seniors have already paid a heavy price with the cuts to MoRx.
  • Ask the question—- if you persist in cutting circuit breaker, what will you do to restore services and funding for seniors?
  • Ask the question—why won’t you consider other options? Why are seniors always the target?

Members of the Work Group: 
Senator Cunningham
Senator Brown
Senator Hummel
Senator Rizzo
Senator Sater
Representative Fitzpatrick
Representative Wood
Representative Alferman
Representative Kendrick
Representative Quade

Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for all that you do for Missouri’s seniors.

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