In his Biennial State Budget Governor Walker proposed privatizing our local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). At Dane County we found this unacceptable. Our local ADRC is a one–stop-shop that connects seniors and the disabled with critical services available to them through various federal, state and community resources. In 2014 alone, the Dane County ADRC had 23,897 consumer contacts helping thousands of Dane County’s disabled and elderly.
Governor Walker’s budget directed the Department of Health Services to contract with a private provider threatening the current successful locally focused “one-stop-shop” model. The bill also would have eliminated local input and oversight.
The ADRCs are one example of government working well. They help people get the resources they need and navigate through bureaucratic red tape.
After months of work, I am proud to tell you we fought this budget proposal and we won. Our local one-stop-shop will continue to make those critical connections to services. As Dane County Executive, I will continue to work and support our ADRC.
Our commitment to our seniors does not end there. We have many other important services for seniors in Dane County. For example, I created a new Elder Benefits Specialist position to ensure our seniors have timely access to services and information through the ADRC.
Since last year, our Elder Benefits Program has seen a marked increase in the number of seniors needing services and this position will help meet that growing need. The county partners with the federal government and private donations to provide $1,466,086 to ensure our seniors continue to receive warm meals, served with smiling faces.
Across Dane County we have 26 county supported senior centers. Dane County has many things to offer citizens of all ages. We enjoy an incredible quality of life including world-class bike paths, beautiful lakes and scenic county parks. In fact, our quality of life is so wonderful we are continually nationally recognized as a great place to retire, to raise a family and one of the safest places in the country.
I am very happy to be able to deliver such good news but we could not have done it without you. Thank you to all of you came who out to the hearings, registered your concerns and/or called your legislators. We must continue our vigilance and ensure that our seniors’ golden years are enjoyed and their services remain protected.