APS Funding - the Next State Budget
Ohio's next two year budget is currently being decided in the Ohio General Assembly. Introduced in February as House Bill 49, it is a 3000+ document with funding for all the state departments, commissions, boards and other state governmental entities. "As introduced," it is the Governor's proposed budget for the next biennium. The Ohio House, and then the Senate, have an opportunity to propose amendments and make changes. The next two year budget must be in place by June 30, as the state's fiscal years run July - June and the state will not otherwise have authority to spend state funds if a budget is not complete.
In HB 49, the Governor has proposed to keep state funding for Adult Protective Services at $2.6 million per year, distributed by $30,000 per county each year. This was an improvement from previous state budgets, where the funding remained stagnant at $500,000 per year distributed by formula to 88 counties.
While the Ohio Coalition for Adult Protective Services is appreciative of the increase in state funding, it is simply not enough. Changes to the adult protective services law in the last budget helped to set state expectations that are important to snsure access to quality services for victims of elder abuse. However, these changes have put greater demand on already strained to-the-limit county budgets that continue to rely on local funding when available.
The current funding allocation of $30,000 per year per county is not enough to even ensure that a full-time APS staff is available to seniors in every county. Ohio has required that an infrastructure is in place, but must now make the investment to enable it to be functional.
OCAPS, along with other organizations, is advocating for an increase to $10 million per year, with a base level of $65,000 per county. Legislators have expressed interest in elder abuse and financial exploitation, and with our population aging in greater numbers, they have expressed concerns about the lack of sufficient resources.
OCAPS has developed an advocacy piece for our members to communicate with their Representatives the need for more funding for APS.