Oregon Project Independence (OPI) Focus Group
Seniors and People with Disabilities Division and Oregon's Area Agencies on Aging have completed local and statewide focus groups, an online survey and an OPI client survey to solicit input about how the OPI program will fit into the future of Oregon's long term services and supports system. SPD will be analyzing the input provided to develop a report about OPI to the Oregon Legislature in January 2010. The OPI response and a compilation of input from the focus groups and surveys are provided below.
Since its inception in 1975 the OPI program has been funded with General Fund dollars. In 2005 the Oregon Legislature created an automatic transfer from the Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Revolving Account to the Oregon Project Independence Account, in the hopes of relieving the General fund while at the same time creating a new and stable funding source for the OPI program.
Legislative action/Budget note
Just prior to the 2009 legislative session, DHS learned from the Department of Revenue that excess revenues from the Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Revolving Account had sharply declined with the economic downturn, leaving the sole funding source for Oregon Project Independence nearly depleted. With a balance of just over $3 million dollars for 2009-2011 and $0 projected for 2011-2013, the legislature awarded an additional $10 million dollars from the general fund for OPI 2009-2011, and directed the department to review ways to run the program more economically, requesting a report along with The Department's recommendations to the subcommittee by January 2010. The language of the budget note follows:
The Seniors and People with Disabilities Division is to work with its local offices, Area Agencies on Aging and other program stakeholders to review how Oregon Project Independence services, given the limited funds available, can be delivered more effectively as part of Oregon's long-term care system. The agency is to report to the appropriate interim policy committee, before January 1, 2010, on this review, any changes proposed or implemented as a result of the review, any potential administrative savings, and the number of persons expected to be served in the Oregon Project Independence program within the 2009-11 program funding allocation.