AARP Supports Senate Budget Amendments Focused on Bay State Seniors

Posted on 05/23/23 by Ted Carey

Massachusetts Senate Chamber

This week the Massachusetts Senate is taking up the budget for next year. The Fiscal Year 2024 budget provides funding for vital programs and services for older Massachusetts residents.  

AARP Massachusetts’ budget priorities include programs and services that recognize and support the critical role of family caregivers; help people stay in their own home and community; strengthen the financial security of Massachusetts residents; and encourage age-friendly communities.

AARP is asking Senators to cosponsor amendments to the budget that support older residents, fund Meals on Wheels and nutrition programs, and ensure residents with dementia receive the care they deserve.

It is critical that the Commonwealth invests in these vital programs and services. That’s why AARP sent a letter to Michael Rodrigues, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means asking him to support several amendments.  (Read the AARP letter here)

Among the amendments AARP supports

  • Geriatric Mental Health Services- Increases funding for geriatric mental health services
  • Dementia Care Coordination- Funds Alzheimer’s Association dementia care coordination program
  • Meals on Wheels Amendment -Increases funding for the Meals on Wheels Program
  • LGBTQIA+ Aging Project Amendment- Increases funding for LGBTQIA+ provider training
  • Caregivers Amendment -Instructs EOEA to apply for Medicaid waiver to pay spouses as family caregivers
  • Long Term Supports and Services Actuarial Study- Funds an independent study of long term care financing in Massachusetts
  • LGBTQ+ Elders -Funds virtual senior center for LGBTQIA+ older adults
  • Personal Needs Allowance - Increases monthly Personal Needs Allowance for residents in nursing homes
  • Commission on the Status of Older Adults- Creates new, permanent commission that focuses on concerns of older adults in the Commonwealth.

AARP believes the Commonwealth must invest in these vital programs, services, and budgets now. We know that with each budget, difficult decisions must be made.  We also know that the most vulnerable among us must be protected.

An Update: The Senate did adopt five of the amendments AARP supported:

  • Dementia Care Coordination
  • Meals on Wheels Amendment
  • LGBTQIA+ Aging Project Amendment
  • Long Term Supports and Services Actuarial Study
  • LGBTQ+ Elders

The next step for the budget is a conference committee where the House and Senate will hammer out the differences between their two versions of the budget. It then needs to be voted on by the House and Senate before it goes to Governor Maura Healey.

This story is provided by AARP Massachusetts. Visit the AARP Massachusetts page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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