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This State budget cycle could be very tough on some Central Oregon families who want to keep their loved ones out of a nursing home. “The problem is; in-home care programs are in danger. “ Of all the state agencies, the Department of Human Services is facing one of the largest budget shortfalls; a reduction of about 35% according to State Senator Chris Telfer of Bend. She says part of the reason is because a one-time burst of stimulus funds is no longer there, combined with other challenges facing the State. Telfer says this jeopardizes important programs like in-home care that keeps seniors in their homes, rather than nursing homes: “I'm working very, very diligently right now to try to save these in-home care programs as well as other DHS programs, because my feeling is: they turn the spigot off of the money going into the communities. That is the wrong approach. What they need to do is shrink the bureaucracy, keep the cash flying to the communities and to the individuals in those individual communities needed the services.   So, we’re still working at it.”   Lawmakers are looking at two streamlining bills right now: one would reduce middle management jobs, the other would get rid of positions left vacant for more than 6 months.

 

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