The Senior Alliance's Monthly Advocacy Update
May 28, 2021
Volume 2.5
Welcome to The Senior Alliance's advocacy newsletter, COLLOQUY!
This monthly e-mail is a look at issues, legislation and policies impacting aging.
State Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Reports Revenue Bump
On May 21st the State Treasury, House Fiscal and Senate Fiscal staff issued their consensus revenue estimate for FY 2022. Bolstered by federal CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, the FY 2021 budget has $2.04 billion additional dollars to allocate, while the FY 2022 budget will have $1.48 billion more than earlier projected.

State Budget Director Dave Massaron stated there is at least $12 billion available to spend on one-time "transformational" projects.

State income tax revenue for 2021 is projected to increase between 7.8% and 9.3%. But is projected to be flat in FY 22.

State sales tax revenue is projected to increase between 6.6% to 7.6% in 2021. However, FY 22 is projected to see just slightly higher than flat sales tax revenue.
State FY 2022 Budget Bills Poised to Move Forward
FY 2022 budget bills have been reported to each chamber's full Appropriations Committee. With the May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference report now in the budget process should begin moving toward the conference committee stage.

Analysis of House Bill 4399 indicates the State House Appropriations subcommittee of Health & Human Services 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 also added 1,000 new slots for the MI Choice Waiver program in a step forward for community-based long-term services and supports.

Analysis of State Senate Bill 79 indicates inclusion of the 1,000 statewide slots for MI Choice Waiver in the FY 22 budget, 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 in support of the additional 1,000 slots for the MI Choice Waiver program as the FY 2022 appropriations process continues.
Direct Care Worker Wage Increase Differences Between Legislative Chambers
Differences exist between the State House and State Senate on making the Direct Care Worker wage increase a permanent part of the state budget. 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.
Criminal Background Check Bill Moves To State Senate Floor
In 2020 the State Commission on Services to the Aging approved a policy require Area Agencies on Aging to conduct criminal background checks for each new employee, employee, subcontractor, subcontractor employee, or volunteer who had in-person client contact, in-person home client contact, access to a client's personal property, or access to confidential client information before that individual began work or volunteer duties. The check would then have to be conduct every three years. The Senior Alliance had been following a background check process and quickly came into compliance.

State Representative Matt Hall (R-Emmett Twp) introduced House Bill 4325 (H-1) to place the State Commission on Services to the Aging's policy into state statute. The bill has passed the State House, been reported out of the State Senate's Committee on Families, Seniors & Veterans and awaits final action before the full State Senate. An analysis of the legislation is available here.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Access Bill Now Before State House Committee
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 unanimously passed the State Senate on April 27, 2021. SB 213 has moved to the State House and awaits action in the Committee on Families, Children & Seniors.
2022 Annual Implementation Plan Public Hearing Information
The Senior Alliance will conduct a public hearing on the draft 2022 Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) at 9:30 a.m. on June 14, 2021. This public hearing will be conducted remotely via Zoom.

The Public Notice is available here. The draft 2022 AIP will be available for review at www.thesenioralliance.org on May 29, 2021.

The Zoom information for the meeting is:

Meeting ID: 867 0998 2966
Passcode: 674137
One tap mobile
+19294362866,,86709982966#,,,,*674137# US (New York)
+13017158592,,86709982966#,,,,*674137# US (Washington DC)
"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, Housing Coordination and the Long Term Care Ombudsman.

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