PNS Daily Newscast - April 19, 2019 

A look at some of the big takeaways from the release of the redacted Mueller report. Also, on our Friday rundown: Iowa recovers from devastating floods and prepares for more. And, scallopers urged to minimize the threat to seagrass.

Daily Newscasts

Spared the Axe: E-Board to Restore In-Home Services

July 21, 2010

SALEM, Ore. - Oregonians who are homebound because of age or disabilities have been on the state budget roller-coaster this month. First, they were notified that in-home care services would be cut for about 16,000 people as part of the governor's mandatory budget-trimming.

Now, members of the Legislative Emergency Board are saying they won't let that happen. When they put the Department of Human Services budget under the microscope this week in Salem, they can use a special purpose fund to keep such programs as Oregon Project Independence running – at least, temporarily.

For Aileen Weeks in Chiloquin, the cuts would have meant losing weekly help with cooking, cleaning and personal grooming as an Oregon Project Independence client.

"I was just thinking, I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm here by myself. I've fallen down - not recently, but my leg gives out, and there I go. It's nice to know that, if I did do that, at least somebody would come by, someday."

Cuts would also have affected hundreds of home care workers. Bobbie Sotin of North Bend helps her clients with bathing and medication management as well as housework and shopping. After almost ten years, she says she hopes for a little more job security.

"It is very unsettling. For me, I do this job because I like it, but I also have medical needs myself. I'm a diabetic, so I need medication every month and without me having my hours where they need to be, I could possibly lose my insurance."

Sotin is a member of SEIU Local 503, which represents 50,000 workers around the state. The union estimated almost 13,000 in-home caregivers would have been affected if services were reduced or eliminated.

The Emergency Board meets on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. at the State Capitol. Advocates for Oregon seniors and people with disabilities say the fix is temporary, and that what's really needed is for Congress to pass a stalled bill that would extend and increase the amount of federal matching money sent to states to pay for Medicaid.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR