By Marisa Wojcik
The DFL and Senior Caucus held a press conference today relaying the impacts of cuts proposed by Republicans in the Health and Human Services Budget Bill. The DFL has called the cuts to SF 760 “draconian,” as they would cut $2.68 million from Senior Nutrition Program grants that fund services such as Meals on Wheels. If funding for programs like Meals on Wheels and other senior waivers are cut, seniors would be “left to fend for themselves” said Patrick Rowan, executive director of Metro Meals on Wheels.
Representative Thomas Huntley (DFL) said that taking away funding for elderly nutrition could result in more seniors unable to live in their own homes and be forced into nursing facilities. This could be a larger financial burden on the state than maintaining funding to help seniors remain in their homes. Other concerns with eliminating Meals on Wheels include further limiting personal contact that seniors have.
There are rumors that Senator Hann will offer an author’s amendment to restore the $2.68 million from the Senior Nutrition program line item in the bill, but this is unconfirmed.