AARP Pennsylvania Issues Statement on the Passage of Pennsylvania’s Budget
AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh released the following statement in response to the passage of the 2022-23 Pennsylvania state budget.
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“On behalf of our 1.8 million members, AARP Pennsylvania appreciates the steps taken by the Governor and General Assembly to distribute American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in the 2022-2023 state budget.
After a lifetime of hard work, Pennsylvania’s seniors deserve to live with independence, security, and dignity. The availability of common-sense options will enable them to age in place in their homes and communities.
Understanding that increasing property taxes are most burdensome to residents who are older and on fixed incomes, AARP Pennsylvania advocated for the $140 million investment in the state’s Property Tax Rent Rebate Program, which brings much-needed relief at a time when high inflation -- including the rising prices of gas, prescription drugs and food -- is hitting older and disabled adults right in the pocketbook.
Additionally, the allocation of $125 million for a new Whole Home Repairs Program was also supported by AARP Pennsylvania to assist those who want to remain at home but lack the financial resources needed to pay for simple home repairs. The adoption of this program will also help Pennsylvanians make their homes more livable, and more energy efficient by fixing poorly functioning heating systems and tackling other projects that can help lower energy costs.
Lastly, the infusion of $250 million ARPA dollars to support the state’s long-term care facilities -- nursing, assisted living, and personal care homes – and enhance care delivered at the bedside is critical to the health, safety and well-being of residents who depend upon the care provided by such facilities. On this point, our advocacy has been clear: residents and their families deserve to know that any licensed facility they go to will have adequate and safe staffing, and taxpayers have the right to expect value for the billions of dollars invested into long-term care.
ARPA funds did provide a historic opportunity to offer older Pennsylvanians with options to live in their homes and communities when health and financial limitations make that harder. While encouraged by these ARPA investments, we will continue advocating for Pennsylvania’s decision makers to do more to expand home services, reduce service waiting lists and strengthen the paid long-term care workforce, so direct care staff can earn a living wage with benefits.”