HARRISBURG, Pa., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Wolf's proposed 2016-17 budget poses two distinct realities for Pennsylvania's future: one that ensures that government is responsive and responsible in fulfilling its duty to provide essential social services for our most vulnerable citizens, including older Pennsylvanians, or one that will cause our seniors hardship by way of significant property tax increases at the local level, higher out of pocket costs for prescription drug benefits, and waiting lists for home and community based services.
The governor's plan includes investments in education which will stave off increased property taxes. The budget also restores funding for human services programs, which includes long-term services and supports that enable older Pennsylvanians to age in place, and outreach to our rural communities wherein seniors are often hit the hardest.
"This budget demonstrates the core values prioritized by Governor Wolf. The governor is proposing investments in caregiver services, the PACE program, and our 52 local Area Agencies on Aging and Senior Community Centers," said Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne. "This budget allows my department to continue its critical mission to serve our most vulnerable residents who look to us when they need to access the services necessary to live a safe, healthy, quality of life with the dignity and respect they deserve."
The governor's proposed budget also ensures that the Department of Aging upholds its responsibilities under the Older Americans Act, which helps older people maintain maximum independence in their homes and communities and promotes a continuum of care for the vulnerable elderly. It provides programs designed to protect seniors from fraud and abuse, offers access to health and wellness programs, and creates opportunities for positive civic engagement through community volunteer and senior employment programs.
Rooted within the department's budget are strategic partnerships and synergies with sister agencies to continue other services our older residents rely on, such as nutritional support, housing, and heating assistance that together provide a safety net for our most vulnerable older residents.
Failure to follow the responsible path proposed by Governor Wolf would force older Pennsylvanians into difficult financial situations. Many seniors may struggle to afford medication, groceries, and their rising property taxes.
"Pennsylvania's seniors have worked hard to raise their families, build our communities, and protect our country in times of crisis. It is time for the legislature to work with the governor to address Pennsylvania's fiscal crisis. The failure to do so will result in cuts to human services, including assistance to our seniors."
MEDIA CONTACT: Kirstin Snow: (717) 787.3368
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging