The Oregon Legislature will hold their Legislative Committee Days December 12 - 14. This is an opportunity for interim committees to meet, to discuss reports, intern workgroup outcomes and findings, and legislative concepts that may occur. State agencies are also often giving many reports to various Committees. Read more about Legislative Committee Days HERE.
During December Committee Days, a number of Committees will be meeting that are of interest to Senior & Disability Advocates. You can always check all Committee Agendas via OLIS - the Oregon Legislative Information System. Visit OLIS at: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015I1. Information on Committee Agendas can be found at: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/LIZ/Committees/Meeting/List. These agenda listings are updated as changes are made.
This week, these Committees will be hosting subjects of interest to advocates:
Senate Health Care. 8 am.
- Oregon Health Authority Update
- Coordinated Care Organization Update
- Department of Human Services Rebalance
- Department of Human Services Program Sustainability Report
House Health Care. 8 am.
- Oregon Health Authority Update
- Presentation of Full Coverage - Mind the Gap Report
- Emergency Housing
- Rent Stabilization
- Memory/Long Term Care Update
- Human Services Budget Outlook
Senate Human Services. 8 am
- Safety of Vulnerable Populations - Ensuring the Safety of Seniors and People with Disabilities
Please contact O4AD with any questions or information we may provide on Interim Legislative Committee Days. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oregon Governor's Budget Released
On December 1, Oregon's Governor Kate Brown released her 2017-19 Governor's Recommended Budget. Oregon law requires the Governor to release a balanced budget for each biennium once the election is completed. The budget released by Governor' Brown included a mix of investments and reductions to achieve that goal. You can read the Governor's Budget HERE.
The Governor's Budget proposes a number of adjustments in the Aging and People with Disabilities Division of the Department of Human Services. The Department of Human Services summarized the budget as follows:
"The Governor’s Budget for DHS is $11.3 billion total funds, a 6 percent increase over the current year. It includes investments to balance the DHS budget in a long-term sustainable manner to meet the needs of Oregon’s most vulnerable residents. It also includes reductions that impact DHS.
The Governor’s Budget and Aging and People with Disabilities programs
Caseloads and the costs related to the complexity of acuity in caseload continue to increase significantly. In order to fund these increases and protect the most vulnerable populations within the APD program, given the state's available revenue, difficult choices had to be made.
- Oregon Project Independence. The budget reduces Oregon Project Independence expenditures by $21 million, down to $5 million, the portion that we use for Maintenance of Effort for the Older Americans Act. Currently, 2,900 Oregonians are served in this program that provides home-delivered meals, personal care and other critical services.
- Nursing facility ad-on rates. The budget reduces the premium paid to nursing facilities for complex medical add-on issues, from 40 percent to 20 percent.
- General Assistance. The budget eliminates funding for the GA program.The current GA program serves a small group of Oregonians with severe disabilities who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness who do not have children living with them, and who are not yet receiving Social Security disability benefits. GA consumers are provided with free assistance with their Social Security applications and appeals, along with a small amount of cash and some support for housing and utilities.
- Live-in providers. The budget replaces the in-home, live-in service option with in-home hourly services. Oregonians will still be able to remain in their own homes and receive long-term services and supports, but with several caregivers instead of one 24/7 caregiver.
- Hiring of state employees will be delayed.
- The current eligibility level for Medicaid-funded long-term services and support is maintained.
- The budget continues the program's focus on prevention and community based care as an ongoing priority.
- It supports current rates for Home Care Workers; and
- Holds rates for skilled Nursing Facilities flat into the next biennium.
- Staffing. The budget includes a $10 million salary pot for non-state employee bargaining, adding funds for some of Oregon’s most valuable direct-care workers.
- Abuse reporting. The budget provides funding to continue implementing the statewide Centralized Abuse Management system to better protect vulnerable Oregonians from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
O4AD is gravely concerned at the Governor's approach to reducing Oregon Project Independence, a program that has been proven to be not only cost effective but also effective at meeting the needs of individuals seeking to remain in their home and community and not reliant on entitlement programs such as Medicaid. Take a moment to read O4AD's statement on the Governor's Budget HERE. O4AD and our advocates will be working closely with our Legislative body to maintain services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities that maximize independence, dignity, choice, safety and are budget efficient and effective.
It is important to remember the Governor's Budget is only a recommended budget and is for consideration in the overall process. the Governor's Budget is not a final document or plan for the 2017-19 biennium. The Governor's Budget used as reference for the longer budget decision process that will occur by the Legislature which convenes in February. Stay up to date on budget deliberations with O4AD's Legislative Updates.
Please contact us with any questions on the budget process - email@example.com.
Advocacy Training - Sign up Now
O4AD is pleased to present our Advocacy Trainings for 2017. We will host two trainings for the 2017 Sessions.
Advocacy 101 - for those who may be new to Advocacy, new Council Members or interested in getting involved. Advocacy 101 walks you through the process of participation, the many ways you can participate and what you need to know.
Legislative Bootcamp - for those who want to step up their engagement, be more involved in the process of the Legislature and have a great in-depth understanding of how bills and budgets move through the process - this training is for you.
To learn more about Advocacy trainings or to sign up, please click HERE. Trainings are close to filling up - check it out today and we hope to see you there!
Stay up to date!
With the Legislative Session around the corner, stay up to date on what's happening and how you can be involved. O4AD values the participation of our advocates and their voice in the conversation about supports and services for Oregon's seniors and people with disabilities.
Please do not hesitate to contact O4AD with any questions or for information we can provide! 503.463.8692. firstname.lastname@example.org
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O4AD advocates for the independence, dignity, choice and safety of Oregon's seniors and people with disabilities.