Lawmakers say they'll restore Project Independence funding

Funding for Oregon Project Independence and other vital in-home care programs for seniors and children and adults with disabilities will be restored this week, politicians said following a meeting today of the Legislature's Emergency Board.

Bipartisan members of the board agreed that funding also will be restored to the Medicaid Personal Care programs for seniors, mental-health patients and children with developmental disabilities after a vote on Thursday, said Rep. Peter Buckley, an Ashland Democrat.

Oregon Project Independence will be funded at least through March 1 to allow more time for possible federal action on human services funding or the identification of other state resources to put toward the program, said Buckley.

The programs, serving more than 10,000 Oregonians statewide, had been part of cuts ordered by Gov. Ted Kulongoski in response to a decline in state revenues.

OPI home-care services to 150 Josephine and Jackson county residents were terminated on July 15. Thirty-day notices were sent to 110 residents enrolled Medicaid Personal Care programs in the Rogue Valley, which treats the disabled and low-income seniors.

Buckley said the governor's office and the Department of Human Services have also agreed to remove proposed cuts to the Medicaid Meals on Wheels program as well as proposed cuts to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

Additional cuts to DHS administration, along with use of a portion of a reserve fund, will be used to bring the department's budget to the full 9 percent cut.

The Emergency Board meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday morning at the state capitol.

— Sanne Specht

Share This Story