KUPUNA CARE FUNDING:
· Who: Senate committee on Ways and Means
· What: SB 964, S.D. 1, Relating to Aging (Kupuna Care Funding)
· When: Testimony is due on Sunday, March 1st, by 9:00 am The hearing is on Monday, March 2nd, at 9:00 am
Because it is decision making only, the committee will not allow oral testimony on Monday, but you can submit written testimony.
I’m attaching the original version of the bill as well as the most recent version. The new version lowers the amount to be appropriated for the program from about $5.1 million (which we support) to approximately $4.1 million, based on the numbers from the Executive Office on Aging (“EOA”). This lower amount is tied to the request in the Governor’s budget.
EOA cannot ask for more money in its budget than the Governor authorizes, but we can and we think it’s important to do so in order to serve more seniors in need!
So, if you can submit testimony, here are some bullet points to help guide you:
· The goal of Kupuna Care is to enable Hawaii seniors to lead independent, meaningful, and dignified lives in their own homes and communities.
· From 2002 until now the base budget for Kupuna Care stayed relatively flat. Yet during that same time the number of seniors ages 60+ increased in Hawaii by approximately 70,000.
· The one-time appropriations provided by the legislature to augment the base budget in recent years have been welcome and helpful, but we need to do more.
· The population of seniors in Hawaii is skyrocketing and we can expect that more and more seniors will have need of the home and community based services that Kupuna Care provides. These are important and basic needs like hot meals, transportation, and personal care assistance.
· Providing more seniors with these services is the reason for the $5.1 million in additional funding reflected in the original bill. It will provide additional resources to this critical program that provides services for Hawaii’s fastest growing group of residents.
These bullet points are just guideposts, so please personalize your testimony to fit your voice! And if you or someone you know has benefited from Kupuna Care, please include stories about that as well. Also thank the legislators for the funding they have provided in the past – we don’t want them to forget we appreciate that! We just believe that the funding needs to increase to try to keep pace with the expanding population.
You can submit testimony in one of two ways:
· Submit using the legislature’s website (http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/). I’m attaching a quick tutorial with this email. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me. You’ll need to set up an account on the website, but it’s quick and free!
· Send an email directly to the committee. Since the committee is the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, send your email testimony to: WAMtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov.
Mahalo for everything you have already done and continue to do – it makes a huge and positive difference in people’s lives!
p.s. Please call me on my cell phone if you have any questions (especially since I recognize that I’m making a request on your weekend)! You can reach me at (808) 542-4089.
p.p.s. For anyone who want to see the actual hearing notice, here’s a link to it:http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/hearingnotices/HEARING_WAM_03-02-15_DM-1_.HTM
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