The Senior Alliance's Monthly Advocacy Update

June 23, 2022

Volume 3.6

Welcome to The Senior Alliance's advocacy newsletter, COLLOQUY!
This monthly e-mail is a look at issues, legislation and policies impacting aging.

President Biden's Proposed FY23 Budget

President Biden's proposed Fiscal Year 2023 budget includes some significant increases to Older Americans Act (OAA) programs and other aging services within the Administration on Aging (AoA) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL). 

The increases to note are a proposed increase in OAA nutrition at $305 million, supportive services at $101 million, family caregiver at $56 million, and Native American Programs at $70 million. Included is also a 50% increase for the Long Term Care Ombudsman and 75% increase for respite care. 

The Senior Alliance will continue to track the federal budget process for FY 2023 as it moves through Congress.

Advocacy Push for OAA Funding 

U.S. House is preparing to vote on spending limits for programs critical to older and disabled adults and their caregivers. The proposed $1.6 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2023 that is being negotiated, aligns with President Biden's proposed plans. 

Advocates are rallying to ensure that FY 2023 appropriations reflect what is needed to sustain and expand Older Americans Act (OAA) programs. OAA funding helps to fuel the incredible work of caregivers and programs operated by Area Agencies on Aging like The Senior Alliance. This funding improves the health, wellbeing, and independence of older adults.

To help advocate we will be issuing a new Advocacy Action Alert shortly after this newsletter focused on supporting the important work funded by the OAA. See our Advocacy Action Alert for more details. 

DELIVER Act Reintroduced in U.S. House and Senate

The DELIVER Act, Delivering Elderly Lunches and Increasing Volunteer Engagement and Reimbursements, has been reintroduced in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. This bipartisan legislation increases the standard charitable mileage tax deduction rate for delivery of meals to older adults from .14 cents per mile to .58 cents per mile. 

This rate increase would enable meals program volunteers to claim a higher tax deduction for miles driven will delivering meals. Since many use their personal vehicles to volunteer, this increase would help absorb the rising cost of fuel and increase volunteer engagement for those who are hesitant to volunteer for cost reasons.

The Senior Alliance the DELIVER Act as we have seen first hand how home delivered meals programs desperately need volunteers to fill the rising need of meals clients. 

Free At-home COVID-19 Tests for People with Vision Issues

The Biden-Harris Administration has launched a new initiative to expand the availability of at-home COVID-19 tests for those who are blind or have low vision. These tests are compatible with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and a free app to provide users with audible instructions and audible test results. 

Each order includes two rapid-antigen tests that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. Shipping is free, while supplies last.

The Senior Alliance sees this as a great initiative to make COVID-19 testing easier and more accessible to those who need it.

To order your at-home test click here or call 1-800-232-0233.

Family Working to Amend Adult Foster Care Law

Family, friends, and local advocates are working to advocate in memory of the late Theresa Sella Skrabis, who suffered preventable abuse, negligence, and indignity at an Adult Foster Care facility in Michigan. 

These advocates seek change to Public Act 218, which they are calling "Theresa's Law," after their mother's ordeal in an Adult Foster Care (AFC) facility through a proposed set of updates to Michigan's Public Act 218, which governs AFC facilities. These changes are aimed at improving the quality of life for older adults and provide Direct Care Workers (DCW) with the necessary education and skills to be successful in providing exemplary, compassionate care. Theresa's Law would specifically addresses deficiencies in: DCW education requirements, oversight and enforcement of regulations, appropriate staffing standards, transparency of Resident Rights, and accountability of AFC facilities.

Currently, a bill draft is being worked on by this group of advocates for introduction by a state legislator. The Senior Alliance will continue to track this proposal.

To learn more about the Theresa's Law proposal or get involved, click here

"Inside The Senior Alliance" Podcast

Our 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. Most episodes are less than 15 minutes long.

Our recent episode feature Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who represents Michigan’s 13th congressional district, located in Wayne County, to discuss some of the most pressing needs and issues for older adults and people living with a disability in Western Wayne County and downriver.

The 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, Housing Coordination, the Long Term Care Ombudsman, the Michigan Senior Advocates Council, our Advisory Council, the Meals-on-Wheels Program, Direct Care Workers, Advocacy Overview, State Representative Laurie Pohutsky, the Friendly Reassurance program, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, and the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan.

Click the button below to listen via our website.

Click Here for "Inside The Senior Alliance" Podcasts
Advocacy Questions: Please contact Emma Olson, Advocacy & Planning Specialist, with any advocacy or public policy questions via e-mail at [email protected].
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The Senior Alliance, Area Agency on Aging 1C
5454 Venoy Road, Wayne, MI 48184
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