The Minnesota Legislature adjourned on Monday, May 22, 2023, with significant successes for older and vulnerable adults, as well as those experiencing abuse and maltreatment. MEJC was actively pursuing state investments in programs to advance the well-being of older and vulnerable adults, and we are thrilled to share that several initiatives advancing elder justice priorities passed.
Investments in Supported Decision-Making
The Legislature created a new program to invest in supported decision-making across the State. The new program will provide over $4 million dollars in grants for organizations that provide supported decision making. You may recall the webinar we hosted when the legislation was introduced. The actions we asked of you helped achieve the successful funding allocation. We thank you for your support.
Increased & Sustained Funding for Adult Protection via Vulnerable Adult Act Phase 2
The budget includes the largest investments in Adult Protection Services (APS) systems to counties since the creation of the Vulnerable Adult Act. State funding for county Adult Protection Services will more than double going forward. Over $30 million dollars was invested to permanently increase state funding to county adult protection services. This is a giant win for APS and vulnerable adults experiencing maltreatment, as counties have historically been responsible for most of the funding for this mandatory program.
Largest Investment in Elderly Waiver and Other Long Terms Services
The Elderly Waiver program provides low income older adults with the funds they need to pay for services to age in place, but the program has lacked the necessary investment for decades. This session the legislature made that much needed investment. Legislation passed this session will invest over $400 million to permanently increase rates and wages for services. The legislation also made large investments in other long term care services including: approximately 25% raises to personal care attendants; relief to struggling nursing homes; grants to help pay and find more caregivers; and increased reimbursement rates for other home and community based services. We all hope this helps ease the immense workforce crisis in long term services, and better serves older adults.
Additional Legislative Wins for Older and Vulnerable Adults:
- Funding for senior nutrition projects and live-well at home grants
- New task force on aging to look at how our state government addresses aging issues
- Funding for the AG’s office to crack down on financial exploitation
- Funding for crime-victims grants, including older adult victims
- Funding for new aging shelter program through Catholic Charities
- Funding for a PACE (Program for all-inclusive care for the elderly) study to being creating a new state-wide PACE program