Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Hearing on Elder Abuse Bills Scheduled for February 21
Governor Rick Snyder supports the elder abuse legislation passed by the Senate, and urged the House of Representatives to adopt the bills in his State of the State address this January. Representative Ken Kurtz (R-Coldwater) is holding a hearing on the 14 elder abuse bills assigned to his Families, Children and Seniors Committee. The hearing is February 21, 2012, from 10:30 am to 12 noon in the House Office Building, 124 North Capitol Avenue, in Room 327. We need advocates to pack the room, testify, and show their support for improvements in state laws to prevent elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation, and obtain justice for the victims when it occurs.
Because committee hearings are sometimes rescheduled, advocates driving to Lansing should confirm that the hearing will take place before making the trip. To confirm, call Representative Kurtz’s office at 866-362-8812.
What You Can Do:
You don’t have to testify to attend the hearing and lend quiet support! If you are in the audience, you can submit a card indicating your support, which will be read by Rep. Kurtz.
People willing to testify are encouraged to do so, of course, and can use the talking points below, or relate a personal story about elder abuse they or a relative/friend have experienced.
Advocates who can’t attend are encouraged to call or email Rep. Kurtz (866-362-8812 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to indicate support:
- About 80,000 Michigan elders fall victim to some form of abuse each year.
- Last year, Adult Protective Services received 19,000 calls reporting abuse, up from 12,000 calls in 2000.
- 70% of abusers are ‘trusted ones,’ including spouses, children, grandchildren and friends. Victims come from all walks of life and income classes, as witnessed by Mickey Rooney’s testimony before the Congress.
- Michigan’s high rate of unemployment is fueling the financial exploitation of the elderly.
Six years ago, a Governor-appointed Task Force of experts released a set of recommendations on addressing the growing, and mostly hidden, problem of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Bills addressing the problem have been introduced in every session of the Legislature since but died due to inaction by one or both houses. Last year, a renewed effort to pass the bills started in the Michigan Senate, which passed a package of 18 bills last November.
Taken from: Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan Advocacy Alert
Hunger Action Week
Hunger Action Week, September 13-17 is part of a national campaign led by Feeding America to raise awareness and encourage action against hunger. AAAWM and the Senior Meals Program is encouraging individuals to check on senior neighbors, family and friends to make sure they have access to proper nutrition. For more information, including other events taking place during Hunger Action Week, and other ways to get involved, visit HunGRy? Local participants include: Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, Kids' Food Basket, YMCA Farmers Market, United Church Outreach Ministries (UCOM), Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, Senior Meals Program, Access of West Michigan and the Food & Nutrition Coalition (formerly the Kent County ENTF Food Subcommittee)
Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Ask legislators to fund OSA services for 2011 at the same level as 2010 and to support the Senate version of the MI Choice budget for 2011.
We need your help! The Conference Committee making the final decisions on the Department of Community Health budget (SB 1152) has begun deliberations. The Committee members will decide on funding for two critical areas for seniors – MI Choice and Office of Services to the Aging. Please contact them to preserve funding for senior services.
Support for the Senate version of the MI Choice budget for 2011: The MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program provides home care services to people in lieu of nursing home placement at less than a third of the cost. As a result of MI Choice and other home care programs such as those provided through the Office of Services to the Aging, nursing home expenditures declined last year for the second year in a row. Savings to the state in 2009 are estimated at $30-$40 million, and because of this proven savings, the Senate has recommended increasing the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver budget to $196 million for the 2011 budget year.
Fund OSA services for 2011 at the same level as 2010: Within the past year, programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) have been cut by $7 million – an 18% loss. The Senate is considering another cut of 8% for 2011, an aggregate cut of 26%. Totaling $2.3 million, the cuts would reduce in-home services, home-delivered meals, care management, volunteer programs, caregiver supports and other programs that help keep seniors living independently. Last year, $4 million in OSA services saved Medicaid $140 million! We are not asking for an increase, just no further cuts.
Following are the legislators on the Conference Committee making the final decisions on the Department of Community Health budget (SB 1152), including OSA and MI Choice.
Chair: Senator Roger Kahn
email@example.com 517- 373-1760
Sen John Pappageorge
Sen Deb Cherry
Rep Gary McDowell
Rep George Cushingberry
Rep Kevin Green
It is always helpful to also contact your own legislators, as well as the Senate and House leadership:
Sen Mike Bishop, Majority Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org 517-373-2417
Sen Mike Prusi, Minority Leader, email@example.com 517-373-7840
Rep Andy Dillon, Speaker of the House, firstname.lastname@example.org 517-373-0857
Rep Kevin Elsenheimer, Minority Leader, email@example.com 517-373-0829