The Senior Alliance's Monthly Advocacy Update
March 26, 2021
Volume 2.3
Welcome to The Senior Alliance's advocacy newsletter, COLLOQUY!
This monthly e-mail is a look at issues, legislation and policies impacting aging.
Direct Care Worker Wage Increase Adopted
The state legislature approved, and the governor signed into law, a $2.25 Direct Care Worker (DCW) premium wage increase as part of a fiscal year 2021 supplemental appropriation. House Bill 4047 made the wage increase retroactive to March 1, 2021 and allocates $150 million to extend it through September 30, 2021. The legislation did not include any changes to reporting requirements for employers.

The Senior Alliance will continue to advocate in support of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's proposal to make a DCW premium wage increase a piece of the fiscal year 2022 state budget - and budgets thereafter. This wage increase is an important way to support DCW's doing critical work, but who sometimes earn just above the minimum wage.
Advocacy Position on the Aging & Adult Services FY 2022 Budget
To meet the need of those on waiting lists for services across our state, The Senior Alliance is advocating for two increases in the Aging & Adult Services' (AASA) section of the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) budget for fiscal year 2022.

The Senior Alliance supports:
  • A $1 million increase to the nutritional services line item for home-delivered meals
  • A $6.375 million increase to the community services line item

Older adults who remain on waiting lists are five times more likely to end up in a nursing facility than those who receive services. With 46,000 Michiganians turning 60 every year the need for these services also continues to rise. During the COVID-19 pandemic social isolation have placed many more people in a position of need.

Our advocacy position is derived through our collaboration with The Silver Key Coalition (SKC), of which The Senior Alliance is one of more than 40 member organizations. The SKC uses a data-driven formula to propose the level of funding it would take to address the need of people on waiting lists for these services across our state. During the appropriations process The Senior Alliance collaborates with SKC members to advocate in meetings with state legislators on behalf of older adults.
Older Michiganians Day 2021
The 2021 version of Older Michiganians Day (OMD) will be a series of remote events throughout the week of May 10th. The main session will be held on May 12, 2021 via a two-hour statewide video meeting featuring speakers key to aging issues in Michigan.

Each day of the week will feature advocacy action on one of the five OMD platform planks:
  • Increase Access to Home & Community Based Services
  • Rebalancing Community Based Long-Term Supports & Services Funding
  • Support and Strengthen the Caregiver Workforce
  • Bridging the Digital Divide for Older Adults
  • Establishment of a Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program

Specific information on OMD events during the week of May 10th will be in the April edition of Colloquy. Please email advocacy@thesenioralliance.org with any questions.
Listen to Our Podcast Series - "Inside The Senior Alliance"
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