The Texas Legislature is in session and the Meals On Wheels Association of Texas (MOWAT) has been active. Following is where we are focusing our time and energy, the actions we have taken, and the actions you can take.
This session, MOWAT is focused on:
- Increasing the Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) home delivered meal reimbursement rate through supporting approval of the exceptional item request from HHSC for $7.8M for the 20-21 biennium.
- Protecting the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Texans Feeding Texans home-delivered meals grant program from additional cuts, and continue trying to rebuild the program to its original $20 million appropriation.
- Monitoring legislation related to Managed Care Organizations and other issues to ensure that meals on wheels programs can be equitably included as service providers and that the value of the meals on wheels network over for profit providers is recognized.
- Jackie Hamm, THE Kitchen and MOWAT Chair, testified at the Senate Finance Committee on 2/6/19 in support of the HHSC exceptional item. The testimony can be found here and used as talking points. Testimony went very well. Senator Watson made mention after testimony the differences between the MOW network and the for-profit providers delivery methods. Senator Nichols has also expressed his support both before and after the hearing.
- Barbara Lundgren, Meals on Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County, testified at the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on 2/11/19 in support of the HHSC exceptional item
- Debbie King, Meals on Wheels Waco, testified before the House Appropriations subcommittee to support the TDAs Texans Feeding Texans grant program and to request that the subcommittee consider various mechanisms to prevent the proposed cuts to the program. She also requested that they support a return to the original $20 million appropriation. Talking points are attached.
- Jackie met with Rep. James Frank (Health & Human Services Committee Chair – from Wichita Falls) regarding MOW legislative interests and he agreed to a further in-depth meeting regarding the MOW network and the for-profit companies and the value that the MOW network brings.
- Jackie met with members and/or staff of the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) to discuss inclusion of the HHSC exceptional item along with members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.
- Our lobbyists, Denise Rose, with support from Nancy Walker, and Lisa Anderson are advocating for us, providing frequent updates and monitoring legislation on our behalf.
What You Can Do:
- Reach out to your local legislators in support of the HHSC exceptional item and the restoration of the TDA funds to $20 million and use the attached testimony as talking points.
- If you have written off bad debt from MCO’s in the last two years please complete the following brief survey: