State Rep. Kathy Crawford has introduced a plan to restore funding vetoed by Gov. Whitmer for senior citizen program grants.
Crawford, who chairs the Families, Children and Seniors Committee, said Michigan’s multipurpose senior citizen centers provide a variety of necessary services allowing older adults to thrive, including mental health services. There are more than 1,500 centers in Michigan, but over the past two decades, even though Michigan’s senior population has skyrocketed, state and federal dollars for these facilities have decreased dramatically, resulting in fewer available grants.
“There is a great need in our senior centers for programs addressing the mental and physical health of senior citizens across the state,” Crawford said. “Seniors experience loneliness, isolation, stress and grief. Local Senior Centers are providing critical services that address these issues. Crawford also said seniors have a tendency not to participate in classes or services because of the cost, so grants are greatly needed to reduce costs.
“It’s just astounding to me that Gov. Whitmer did not see the value and great need for this funding, particularly since she just announced that Michigan is now designated a Senior Friendly State” Crawford said. “She has turned her back on older Michigan residents. As a senior myself, I am very sad to see that and will do all I can to rectify it.”
Crawford’s measure is part of a bipartisan plan to restore funding to 24 programs vetoed by the governor on Oct. 1.
Some of the other proposals would restore funding for:
- Critical access hospitals
- Newborn health care
- Autism resources
- Summer school reading programs
- Public charter school students
- Michigan tuition grants
- Career technical education equipment
- School safety grants
- County veteran services
- Sheriff road patrols
The plan was referred to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.