Stalled budget may affect elderly

The Associated Press
Saturday July 06, 2002

SACRAMENTO — The state budget stalemate has delayed much-needed funding to California’s programs for the elderly. 

The Older Americans Act called for the distribution of about $10 million in federal funds on July 1, but the programs will not see that money until the Legislature passes the state budget. 

Gary Burris, fiscal officer for the California Department of Aging, said that the state budget provides state funds and has the authority to spend the federal funds. 

His department notified all 33 area agencies of the delay in funding. The area agencies distribute the funds to nonprofit community agencies that provide the elderly with in-home care, hot meals, transportation and respite services for caregivers. 

One of the agencies, the Personalized Homecare and Homemaker Agency of Sacramento, needs $30,000 this month to provide in-home care to 350 seniors and pay the salaries of 70 employees. 

“Within a couple weeks, we’re in a position of having to fund this out of personal funds,” said agency administrator Robert Howe.