Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image


Local Government Advisory Committee
Minutes - January 11, 2002

Room 473, Human Services Building, Salem

Minutes Not Final Until Approved By LGAC

Contents:

Attending

Cindy Becker, DHS —Chief Administrative Officer
Lennie Bjornsen, DHS — Continuous System Improvement
Larry Cole, League of Oregon Cities
Jean Cowan, Lincoln County Commissioner
Ron Dodge, Polk County Commissioner
Barry Donenfeld, Mid-Willamette Valley Senior Services
Vic Falgout, Douglas County Juvenile Department
Bill Fink, DHS — Community Human Services
Gina Firman, Assoc of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs
Irene Fischer-Davidson, Clackamas County Human Services
Linda Fleming, Conference of Local Health Officials
Ramona Foley, DHS — Children, Adults & Families
David Foster, Oregon Housing and Community Services
Gordon Fultz, Association of Oregon Counties
Robert Furlow, Douglas County Health and Human Services
Sharon Guidera, Assoc of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs
John Hartne,r Oregon Assoc of Community Corrections Officers
Chris Johnson, Yamhill County Health and Human Services
Margy Johnson, DHS — Health Services
Lisa Joyce, DHS — Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations Manager and Staff to LGAC
Sue Kupillas, Jackson County Commissioner
Lydia Lissman, DHS — Seniors and People with Disabilities
Linda Ludwig, League of Oregon Cities
Donna Middleton, Oregon Commission on Children and Families
Bobby Mink, DHS — Director
Mike Morgan, Jefferson County Administrative Officer
Anne Peltier, Conference of Local Health Officials
Bill Wagner, Cascades West Council of Governments
Doug Wilson, DHS — Finance and Policy Analysis
Minute-Taker: Dena Comer, DHS — Director’s Office Administration and Staff to LGAC

Introductions/Opening

Meeting called to order by Jean Cowan, Co-Chair. Roundtable introductions were made.

Lisa Joyce reported that the minutes from previous meetings are available on the Department’s website.

Minutes from the December 14, 2001, meeting were approved.

Membership

Joyce reported that she received a message from Multnomah County Commissioner Serena Cruz’s office stating that there will not be a LGAC representative from Multnomah County.

Joyce explained that the next LGAC meeting, scheduled for February 8, is being held as a legislative Special Session date.

Bobby Mink explained that he would not be able to attend the LGAC meeting if there is a Special Session.

At Cowan’s recommendation, the February 8 meeting will remain as scheduled. In the event that Legislature holds a Special Session on that date, the meeting will be cancelled. If necessary, an Executive Committee meeting can be held in the event of cancellation.

Director’s Report

Handout #1Letter from the Department of Administrative Services,

Office of the Director, to Bobby Mink, January 7, 2002

Mink began his report with a review of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Survey (Handout #1). The survey is the result of a series of interviews involving DHS staff and partners. The sample was not scientifically determined, but rather reflects the comments of those interviewed. Mink’s purpose in requesting the survey was to determine views of the DHS reorganization from the perspective of employees, providers, and stakeholders, and to gauge the Department’s progress and to provide helpful information.

Anne Peltier asked when the clients would be interviewed for their views of the reorganization.

Mink responded that client surveys are currently in development, and will be available sometime early this year.

Regarding an update on the Department’s reorganization, Mink reported that program staff and management teams have been hired within the sixteen service delivery areas (SDAs). Staff has begun work with local partners regarding local configuration of services. Centrally, work continues in fine-tuning the relationships between policy clusters and field management structure. On January 14, Ramona Foley of Children, Adults and Families, Lydia Lissman of Seniors and Peoples with Disabilities, and Bill Fink of Community Human Services will present a formal proposal to Mink for line management policy links within the field structure.

Mink stated that, regardless of what happens in Special Session, and given the available resources, the reorganization will continue.

Mink referred to an electronic, internal communication to his cabinet regarding the role of managers within DHS. For the purpose of clarification, Mink explained that his message was that the DHS management team will communicate and collaborate with advocates and partners. In the event of a disagreement, DHS managers must align with the Governor’s position.

Bill Fink reported that one of the key components of a (SDA) is local review committees. These committees will include broad representation, involving local government partners, advocacy committees, and DHS clients. The purpose of the committees is to determine their views in evaluating service implementation and to provide ongoing evaluation. An additional goal is to create informed communities as to the service delivery available in their areas. Fink will also work directly with a state committee, which will be formed with the same purpose.

Fink further reported that, within the next two weeks, he will present a rough draft of a purpose statement, a process for selection, and application instructions, and will begin soliciting volunteers for the committees.

Joyce explained that when the application process is in place, there will be many opportunities to apply and participate.

Fink explained that the meetings will be moved around within each SDA, and will include representation from throughout the entire SDA.

At Cowan’s request, Fink will provide an update on the progress of the committees at the March meeting.

Budget Impacts

Handout #2Budget Box/Revenue Shortfall, 1/7/02

Handout #3Reduction Options

Handout #4Mailing List (of vendors), 1/11/02

Doug Wilson provided a brief explanation and review of the Budget Box/Revenue Shortfall document (Handout #2). He explained that the term "Budget Box" refers to the boundaries surrounding available funds, and the document indicates cuts by program area. The pie charts on the last page of this handout illustrate how funds are spent in state government.

With respect to the rebalance, Wilson reported that the Governor has placed $87.1 million in the Budget Box for DHS, and problems exist, including caseload increases throughout the Department’s program areas. Another significant problem is the funding for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which includes an approximate $10 million General Fund and an approximate $34 million in Total Funds. The rebalance issue may be addressed as a possible Emergency Board item scheduled for January 31 and February 1.

The Reductions Options document (Handout #3) is a list of reductions presented by the Governor, and was provided as a solution to the budget problem. DHS reductions are listed on pages 5 through 9. Wilson explained that everything listed above the black bar on page 9 are those reductions the Governor announced on January 7. Everything below this black bar is not on the Governors’ reduction list, but rather indicate the next set of cuts that would have to be taken if an item were to be removed from the above the bar, without another solution. The items above the black bar are in priority order, while those below the black bar are not. Wilson further explained that the $95 million figure on line item #139 is not correct, and that none of the figures have been updated to reflect caseload adjustment; DHS Finance and Policy Analysis staff are currently working to update these numbers.

The group continued the reductions discussion with a review of each document line item by Wilson, bringing concerns or questions to the table as needed.

On page 5 of the document, Furlow referred to line item 6 (Jobs Plus Individual Education Account funds) and asked what the impact would be on contracts.

Wilson replied that money remaining in the fund is about to be left unspent, so should not have an impact on any of the existing contracts.

On page 6, Cowan referred to line item 39 (General Funds for Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and asked if there is any way of gauging the impact of this reduction on the community RSVP program.

Wilson replied that most areas are not receiving much General Fund, and will continue to receive federal funds for this program. Federal funds do not flow through DHS, but rather another organization; it is difficult to know the details on the funding streams.

On page 7, Furlow referred to line item 48 (Tobacco Prevention Program) and asked if this is to be used for House Bill 2828.

Wilson replied that he believes there had been a plan out for this $5 million, but it has not yet been implemented.

Fleming commented that most of the funds were at the state level for media campaigns, information on enforcement, etc.

On the same page, Wagner referred to line item 52 (Oregon Project Independence) and asked if this reduction would mean an elimination of direct client services.

Wilson replied that this item was added by the Governor’s Office; therefore specific details are unknown to him at this time.

Cowan asked if by eliminating this Project, would the funds saved be a combination of General Fund from line items 52 and 94 (Oregon Project Independence)?

Wilson replied yes, with a reminder that Project dollars have already been spent, as implementation occurs part way through the biennium.



Also on page 7, Cowan referred to line item 58 (Sheltered Services Employment Program) and the 93 individuals listed there, and asked how it would affect specific communities.

Wilson replied that while unsure of the exact number, there are specific programs that involve these 93 individuals.

Guidera asked how to obtain the information regarding impact on specific communities.

Wilson replied by asking Fink to obtain a list, which was distributed later in the meeting (Handout #4).

On page 8, Fultz referred to line item 75 (Staley Funding) and asked if this is an elimination or a delay.

Wilson replied that he believes it is a delay for the remainder of the biennium, returning in the next biennium. Also, he stated that he was uncertain if this was a "Staley" reduction.

On the same page, Fultz referred to line item 86 (Babies First) and asked if there is a federal match associated, as one is not reflected in this document.

Fleming responded that the latest information indicates an approximate $2.5 million federal match for this program.

Also on page 8, Fleming referred to line item 96 (Oregon Health Plan) and commented that this reduction will have an impact on counties, as pregnant women must go somewhere to receive care.

Donenfeld referred to line item 97 (Assisted Living Rates), also on page 8, and asked if there is an offset for clients who may have to move into nursing homes as a result of no longer being able to remain in an assisted living facility.

Wilson replied that he is looking at more options to present, such at looking at the assisted living facility rates at the same level as the new rates in foster homes.

Furlow asked if, corollary to Oregon Project Independence (OPI), any calculations had been done in anticipating its loss and the impact on the nursing homes.

Wilson replied that there is the assumption that a certain number of clients who lose OPI would be assisted through the Medicaid program, which includes nursing homes.



Cowan posed the question to the group as to whether or not a letter should be drafted and sent to the Governor, which would indicate LGAC’s concern regarding reduction impacts on constituents and clients.

Mink reported that next week, the Governor will release a budget including revenue possibilities for reducing the impact cuts needed.

Sue Kupillas commented that the reduction lists have several negative long-term implications, and that a letter to the Governor might support him looking at revenue replacement. The long-term implications of the reduction list will cause irreparable harm to the State of Oregon.

Firman agreed with Kupillas, and added that the Governor will most likely expect the group to come up with specific ideas of where revenue can be replaced.

Fultz suggested the framing of the letter might also include the impact on local capacity, the ability for organizations to function without certain programs. The letter could then suggest that LGAC participate in looking at alternative revenue sources.

Furlow suggested that it would be appropriate to discuss new revenues, which would not have a deleterious affect on the economy.



Wagner commented that it might also be appropriate to include that the group is against short-term fixes. He suggested that perhaps LGAC could come to a consensus surrounding long-term revenue fixes.

Cowan replied by suggesting that the letter include impact on system-wide service delivery, the group’s support of the Governor’s opposition to short-term fixes, and its willingness to participate in a conversation regarding revenue replacement options.

Fultz suggested a "wordsmithing" issue, that the group "prefer" long-term solutions, so that it would not deny a possible short-term solution.

Donenfeld agreed with Fultz, and added that short-term solutions might be used as bridges to long-term solutions. Perhaps some programs might be preserved, even if they remain at lower funding levels.

Cowan asked the group if it has a position surrounding the elimination of some programs versus "thinning the soup."

Donenfeld commented that some service to a client is better than no service.

Guidera commented that if she had to choose between eliminating a program and thinning it, thinning it would provide more flexibility in addressing the immediate needs of local clients.

Cindy Becker cautioned the group that while "thinning the soup" may seem attractive, it may result in the public perception that programs can function with less money.

Chris Johnson added that, with respect to his programs, the "soup" is already as "thin" as it can get.

Cowan suggested that the letter now include the group’s shared concern for temporary fixes and its preference for long-term solutions, and incorporating the group’s willingness to look at a systems-wide approach, in keeping with the positions of the organizations represented by LGAC.

Fultz agreed to work with Cowan on drafting a letter, which would then be presented to the Executive Committee for final approval. The letter will be completed by Monday, January 14.

Organizational Updates

Guidera reported that the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs is working on an equity formula, which is roughly 50 percent complete.

Fleming reported that it appears the federal government will allocate $835 million public health dollars to bio-terrorism, and work is being done to get questions answered as to how those dollars will be allocated, and how to release them as quickly as possible to each state.

Joyce added that her information indicates that the distribution of those bio-terrorism dollars will be based on population.

Margy Johnson added that DHS Health Services’ information indicates $10-$15 million, but it is not clear whether or not it will be a one-time distribution, nor are the requirements known at this time.

Other Items

Handout #5U.S Census Bureau

States Ranked by Revenue and Expenditure Total Amount and

Per Capita Total Amount: 1999

Handout #5 was distributed as informational only.

Joyce reported calendar items to include a House Special Task Force on the Future of Services to Seniors and People with Disabilities on January 28. On January 29, there will be a meeting of the Joint Health and Human Resources Committee, the topic of which will be rebalance, caseload forecasting, DHS and nursing facility rate rebasing, and the medically-fragile children program. The Emergency Board will meet on January 31 and February 1.

Future Agenda Items*

Transfer of Programs/Local to State Government

Field Staff Management Report - Update

Local Review Committees by SDA - Update

Budget Update

  • Current Discussion
  • Future Budget Reductions/Getting Involved
*Actual agenda is dependent upon a meeting with the LGAC Executive Committee.

Next Meeting

Date: February 8, 2002


Time: 9:00AM - Noon


Location: HSB 473

Note: 2:00PM-4:00PM Stakeholders/Partners Meeting

Location: HSB 137 A-D

 

If you would like copies of the handouts, contact:

Dena Comer
DHS Director’s Office, 4th Floor
500 Summer Street NE, E-15
Salem, OR 97301-1097
Telephone: (503) 945-6843
e-mail: dena.comer@state.or.us

Americans with Disabilities Act Notice: Do you have a physical or mental impairment that makes it hard for you to communicate? If so, you can get this document in Braille, computer disk, large print or oral presentation by contacting Jessica Ferge, Department of Human Services, Director’s Office, (503) 945-6609, TTY (503) 945-6214.

Back to top