Here's some additional comments from Kathy Vesley-Massey, president and CEO of Bay Aging, in regard to Gov. McDonnell's reversal Monday on proposed cuts to services to elderly.
"Staying at home is far more economical than institutional care, and it is what most of us aspire to be able to do as we grow older. Funding to assist folks to be able to remain in their home makes good business sense and it is the right thing for society to do."
Vesley-Massey also elaborated on the pressure on McDonnell to reverse his proposed budget amendment that would have reduced funding to organizations such as Bay Aging for programs such as Meals on Wheels and transportation for the elderly:
"Bay Aging was merely one catalyst to get the word out to the public. My understanding is that as citizens across the state learned about this funding cut they barraged the Governor’s office and their Delegates and Senators with calls and letters expressing dissatisfaction that the elderly were not a priority.
I believe this is a clear message that citizens of this great Commonwealth oppose balancing a budget at the expense of frail seniors. This is government in action: citizens were not silent; they insisted their voices be heard. We, as Virginians, will not allow our older friends and relatives to go without food and other basic quality of life assistance."
Vesley-Massey on the future of Bay Aging following McDonnell's decision:
"With our growing numbers of seniors and other budget reductions, Bay Aging will continue to be challenged to meet needs, but at least we will not go backwards and have to discontinue meals and other vital services to those now receiving them.
We are very pleased that people spoke up for seniors and just as pleased that their voices were heard in Richmond. I hope citizens will remember to thank our Senators and Delegates who carried our message to the Governor."
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