State Budget Decisions Impact Family Caregivers

As the June 30th deadline for passing most state budgets draws closer, many decisions will be made about closing budget deficits with cuts in services across the board.  The true impact of cuts in services to older and disabled adults will not be known until the budgets are signed by the Governors.  Some states are expecting a long hot summer while difficult budget decisions are debated.  Expect states with biennial budgets to call special sessions as revenues drop and federal support tapers off.

Here is a brief recap and some resources to use for advocacy efforts:

First, know the numbers.  Some of the best global information about the state budget deficits comes from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  This site has all the charts and graphs you might want to check before going to advocate for programs in your state capitol.  Budget information at the state level can be found most easily by a google search by state since the title of the department at the state level responsible for the budget varies across the country.

Second, know the facts.  The National Center on Caregiving at FCA developed a cheat sheet of facts, statistics and background to use when advocating for caregiver support programs.  We even included a chart of the economic value of informal caregiving for each state.  “Making the Case: Saving Your State’s Caregiver Support Programs” can be found on the FCA website.

Last, know the trends.  Keep up with state and federal policy trends by subscribing to FCA’s  Policy Digest – an easy way to remain in the loop for budget and policy trends.  You can subscribe by clicking here.

At this point, it is possible that over half of the states will cut services to older and disabled adults in the next fiscal year (2011).  The deficits are just that large, revenues are down and state reserve funds and federal support will not be as plentiful.  Think it is a done deal?  Please think again.  Yes, policy makers do count all calls and letters on the issues and budget decisions.  If they don’t hear from you, you and your issue will be invisible and easier to cut.  Personal stories can move mountains in the policy arena.  For you sake and for the well-being of those you care for, make your voice heard today.

3 comments to State Budget Decisions Impact Family Caregivers

  • It is interesting that in CA assembly members have taken a brave stand and recommended restoration of funding to the Caregiver Resource Centers despite fiscal deficits or maybe because of… Is it possible that our representatives know that saving caregivers will save our economy? Is it possible that elected officials know about the need for caregiver support from their own experience and that of 1 in 4 of their constituents?

  • Very interesting. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities was founded in 1981 to analyze federal budget priorities, with particular emphasis on the impact of various budget choices on low-income Americans. Their work has broadened considerably since then as they have responded to new developments and entered many new areas of research

  • [...] for Caregiving have blogged about the impact of budget cuts on state caregiver support programs here.  Here are some of their key talking [...]

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