Dane County Executive Parisi Advocates for Changes to State Budget
March 31, 2015
Stephanie Miller, Communications Director, 608.267.8823 or 608.635.5796
Parisi: “We Cannot Leave Behind Our Most Vulnerable”
MADISON- Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi urged Joint Finance Committee and Governor Walker to amend the 2015-2017 Biennial state budget to delete the provisions that would privatize the Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
“Our Aging and Disability Resource Center is a one-stop shop for senior citizens and people with disabilities in Dane County,” said Dane County executive Joe Parisi. “Governor Walker’s proposal will jeopardize critical connections to services and remove community input. Our ADRC is in our community serving our neighbors. We cannot leave behind our most vulnerable.”
Counties and tribes currently operate Wisconsin's ADRCs. The current budget also directs Department of Health Services to contract with a private provider threatening the current successful community locally focused “one-stop shop” model. The bill also eliminates ADRC governing boards and Long-Term Care Advisory Committees which currently provide citizens and local officials direct involvement in ADRC oversight and planning.
“Right now if you call the ADRC you will be connected with a local person helping you in our community,” said Parisi. “That same person you get on the phone follows you through the whole process. You always know who to call and how to get help. The Governor’s changes could result in your call being answered in another state with no local oversight. Our citizens deserve better.”
In 2014 alone, the Dane County ADRC had 23,897 consumer contacts helping thousands of Dane County’s disabled and elderly. Wisconsin has been one of the pioneers of ADRCs. In 2010, the U.S. Administration on Aging honored the Wisconsin Department of Health Services with an Outstanding Achievement Award for “its pioneering work and continued innovation with Aging and Disability Resource Centers.” Federal officials emphasized that the Wisconsin model is a model other states should follow.
“Stripping local control over the services provided to seniors and disabled individuals puts our vulnerable neighbors at risk,” said Sharon Corrigan, Dane County Board chair. “ I urge legislators to change the budget and to not outsource services for at-risk individuals to the highest bidder.”