Gov. Larry Hogan said he plans to make record investments in public health in the fiscal 2023 budget that will benefit low-income children, seniors, and local health departments.
The governor announced in a news release he plans to expand the Summer Supplemental Nutritional Assistance program to include more low-income families and senior citizens, in addition to providing more resources for food banks and nonprofit organizations.
“Our budget will make record investments in the local health departments on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hogan said. “We are also providing critical relief to support underserved Marylanders and people in need, especially our seniors on fixed incomes and children in low-income families.”
Under the governor’s budget proposal, according to the release, $75 million will be invested in local health departments in an effort to stabilize their response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is providing $9.4 million to overcome budget shortfalls, and in all the Hogan administration is upping funding for local health departments by 62%.
The governor’s budget also features more than $187 million that will fund rate increases for providers in behavioral health, developmental disabilities, Medicaid, and other health services, according to the release.
The SNAP program will be expanded to encompass more than 390,000 households with a $1.96 billion investment, with an additional $4.8 million going into the summer program. The program, according to the release, will provide nutrition assistance to more than 50,000 children in low-income households, the release says.
Hogan wants to spend an additional $6.6 million to provide enhanced benefits for 27,000 seniors. The budget also features $3 million to support local agencies to connect seniors with programs and services, according to the release.
Under the budget, the state is committing $17.8 million in an effort to reduce waitlists for home health care programs, including $10.3 million for senior care, $5.3 million for Senior Assisted Living Subsidy, and another $2.2 million for the Congregate Housing Services Program, according to the release.
The governor’s budget proposal also features a $10 million investment in food banks, including the Maryland Food Bank, Capital Area Food Bank, Food and Friends, and Moveable Feast.
This article originally was published on TheCenterSquare.com on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.