The Senior Alliance's Monthly Advocacy Update
April 27, 2021
Volume 2.4
Welcome to The Senior Alliance's advocacy newsletter, COLLOQUY!
This monthly e-mail is a look at issues, legislation and policies impacting aging.
Older Michiganians Day 2021
Older Michiganians Day (OMD) 2021 has become Senior Action Week! (May 10-14, 2021) While the main session will be a LiveStream from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, each day will focus on one of the five planks in the 2021 OMD Advocacy Platform.

  • Monday - Increase Access to Home & Community Based Services
  • Tuesday - Rebalancing Community Based Long-Term Supports & Services Funding
  • Wednesday - Support and Strengthen the Caregiver Workforce
  • Thursday - Bridging the Digital Divide for Older Adults
  • Friday - Establishment of a Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program

Specific information and links to OMD 2021 events during the week of May 10th can be found on our state association's website: www.4ami.org/events. Please email advocacy@thesenioralliance.org with any questions.

The Senior Alliance's Advisory Council will host a discussion on the OMD 2021 Advocacy Platform during their meeting on May 10th at 9:30 a.m. Our area's state legislators have been invited to engage in a discussion via Zoom during the meeting. Members of the public are also invited to attend.

An informational Save The Date PDF for OMD 2021 can be found here.
State FY 2022 Budget Bills Move Out of Appropriations Subcommittees
Last Wednesday the State House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services budget reported its recommendations to the full State House Appropriations Committee. Analysis of House Bill 4399 indicates the subcommittee has concurred with the governor's proposal to add currently unspecified federal funds to the Aging & Adult Services Agency's (AASA) community services budget. The Community Services line item would receive an additional $1 million in federal funds while the nutrition services line would receive $3.5 million more federal dollars. The subcommittee added 1,000 new slots for the MI Choice Waiver program in a step forward for community-based long-term services and supports.

The State Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health & Human Services reported out it's budget proposal last Thursday. Senate Bill 79 analysis indicates inclusion of the 1,000 statewide slots for MI Choice Waiver, matching the State House's subcommittee action.

The Senior Alliance continues to support the Silver Key Coalition's advocacy position that a $6.375 million increase in state funding to the community services line item and $1 million increase in state funding to the nutrition services line item of AASA's budget is needed to address the existing statewide program waitlist over the long-term. We will also advocate for the proposed additional 1,000 slots for the MI Choice Waiver program as the FY 2022 appropriations process continues.
Direct Care Worker Wage Increase for FY 22 Differs Between Legislative Chambers
A $2.35 per hour wage increase for Direct Care Workers (DCW) was included in the FY 2022 MDHHS budget reported by the State Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health & Human Services to the full appropriations subcommittee. The State House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services only included a $100 placeholder for a DCW wage increase.

The Senior Alliance will continue to advocate for a DCW wage increase in the FY 2022 state budget to support workers who are providing critical services to older adults and adults living with a disability in the community.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Access Bill Approved by the State Senate
Senate Bill 213 (S-1) would delete a reference in the Older Michiganians Act to the specific times the Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman or the regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman are permitted access to any long-term care facility. The bill also states that if restrictions are placed on the ability to access a long-term care facility for a period longer than seven days, that restriction would not apply to a representative of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. If a restriction or visitation prohibited a representative of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program from entering a long-term care facility resident access must be granted for a video meeting.

This legislation was introduced by State Senator Kim LaSata (R-St. Joseph) and was unanimously reported out the State Senate Committee on Health Policy & Human Services on April 20, 2021 and by a 35-0 vote of the full State Senate on April 27, 2021. SB 213 now moves over to the State House for consideration.
"Inside The Senior Alliance" Podcast
Our new podcast series, "Inside The Senior Alliance," provides to-the-point information about our programs and services. Just search for "The Senior Alliance" to find it on Spotify, Amazon, Apple, Stitcher, Google and other podcast platforms. Each episode is less than 14 minutes long.

Our first episode answers the question, "What is The Senior Alliance?" Other installments provide overviews of the MI Choice Waiver program, the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP), our Supports Coordination function, our Information & Assistance service and Housing Coordination.

Click the button below to listen via our website.
Advocacy Questions: Please contact Jason Maciejewski, Chief Advocacy & Planning Officer, with any advocacy or public policy questions via e-mail at advocacy@thesenioralliance.org.
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The Senior Alliance, Area Agency on Aging 1C
5454 Venoy Road, Wayne, MI 48184
800-815-1112