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Thus far, out of 132 projects submitted by CETA prime sponsors, not more than six have indicated possible funding for the current older worker enrollment. From the data available from CETA project plans, approximately four percent of CETA enrollment positions are supposed to be available to assist older workers. Past manpower programs have shown a consistent lack of interest in the older worker and, based on general revenue sharing's practically total disregard of the needs of the elderly, it would appear that there is little hope of having older workers share in CETA programs in any real relation to their need.
Based upon past experience, therefore, we are of the very strong opinion that it is necessary and desirable to renew the Title IX authorization and to maintain in the Labor Department a categorical older worker program which can be relied upon to find jobs for older workers. If subsequent experience with the operations of CETA should show that prime sponsors can be educated or pressured to develop adequate older worker programs, it is possible that we will be able to do without the provisions of Title IX. Until that time arrives, however, it seems essential that such a program be continued.
We urge, therefore, that the Title IX authorization be renewed at $100 million, $150 million and $200 million for Fiscal Years 1976, 1977 and 1978 respectively, with $35 million, $45 million and $60 million allotted to present national contractors.
We further urge that this program remain in the Labor Department. We have studied the possibility of transferring the program to the Administration on Aging, but it is our opinion that there are several reasons for keeping the program in the Labor Department where it now is operating. Among these reasons are the following:
1. The Department of Labor working-level staff are trained and on-board. They are currently knowledgeable and generally sympathetic to older workers.
2. Working with two agencies would be difficult for national contractors who would be operating a program under the Administration on Aging and also involved in the development of programs with prime sponsors under CETA.
3. It is our impression that the larger appropriations for employment assistance are most likely to go to the Department of Labor since this is the official agency dealing with employment. A transfer of Title IX responsibilities to the Administration on Aging might lead to neglect of the program by Congress in subsequent appropriations.
4. Finally we feel that it would be an additional burden on the Administration on Aging to have to develop from scratch a national employment program, and it would be better to continue the present operation through the Labor Department by the national contractors as at present.
We are aware that the Labor Department is not happy with a categorical program such as Title IX presents. On the other hand, we are also aware that neither the Labor Department nor state and local employment agencies have ever shown great interest in older worker programs. For this reason, we feel strongly that Title IX ought to be continued with an authorization until it is clear that the Labor Department under CETA can and will encourage the development of an older worker program throughout the country. The attitude at the present time seems to be that if the local communities want it, they will do something about it. Unfortunately, however, local communities have other pressures and their failure to do anything about an older worker program will simply mean that the older worker, as in the past, will be the most discriminated against-last hired and first fired-and those older workers who lose their jobs will soon find themselves on the ash heap as far as further work is concerned.
We think, finally, that it should be recognized that these older workers in the Title IX program and Operation Mainstream will be candidates for SSI assistance or welfare assistance if they are not given an opportunity to work in a constructive program. Generally speaking, it appears to us far more desirable to have them working and caring for their own welfare rather than having them drawing welfare checks. Additional welfare costs, of course, would include food stamps, medicaid and housing assistance so that the costs of not maintaining this program are substantially greater, we believe, than the cost of maintaining it.
Recently the Federal Council on Aging responded to the mandate of Congress to conduct a study of allotment formulae for funding state programs under the Older Americans Act. This study was completed and has been forwarded to the President and to Congress as required by the Older Americans Act. The study concentrates on two factors: the proper formula for determining the allotment of funds to state agencies on aging and the question of state administrative funding. The Council proposes that the factor of "the population age 60 or over who are living in poor households" should be added to the factor of the number of state residents age 60 or over in all the present state allotment formulae in the Older Americans Act. The Council concluded that the most simple and accurate single indicator of vulnerability among the elderly is poverty and the best statistical tool is the classification “living in poor households” which is the way the Census Bureau collects information. The concept behind this formulation was that since resources are limited, allotments should be oriented in greater degree to those in the over 60 population who are most vulnerable and most disadvantaged.
The Council also devoted its attention to the question of what ought to be done to provide adequate funding of state administrative costs. The Council agreed that ideally a percentage minimum would be preferable to a dollar minimum but, since the amount to which the minimum is to be applied is limited, it was felt that for the present a dollar minimum was necessary. Accordingly the Council recommended that in Fiscal Year 1976 a dollar minimum for each state be set at $200,000 and for the territories $62,500. The Council also recommended that in Fiscal Year 1976 no state should receive less than a 10 percent increase over its Fiscal Year 1975 funding level and that in each succeeding year of the period for which the authorization of the Act is extended the dollar minimum and the total funding in Section 306 should increase by at least 10 percent. These recommendations reflect the question frequently rais by state units on aging about inadequate administrative funds. Many states feel they are not provided with sufficient resources to administer both Title III and Title VII programs on their present Title III monies. In addition, this eliminates the situation whereby states have remained at a constant minimum. The 10 percent increases are intended to offset the impact of inflation.
The response of the states to these recommendations was mixed. In general the larger states seemed to be satisfied with the present allotment formula which is based upon 60+ population alone. Some of the smaller states and those with greater levels of poverty preferred the recommendation of the Council. Some other factors were suggested including the level of state effort and the geographic distribution within the state. It was not found feasible to include these factors into a readily calculated formula. Congress now has before it the recommendations of the Council and its action will presumably depend upon the degree to which it is felt that an emphasis upon vulnerability is necessary and desirable. Upon the question of administrative costs there was general agreement. The states generally, including the National Association of State Units on Aging, greeted the recommendation with favor and felt that an increase in the minimum level to $200,000 with a provision for periodic increases in each şucceeding year was highly desirable. We hope that Congress will give thorough consideration to the Councils study.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Thank you very much, Mr. Martin. I have just three quick questions and yours was a very thoughtful statement.
One, in respect of increased funds for State agencies' administrative costs, the Federal Council report recommends increasing those funds, I understand.
Mr. Martin. Yes.
Mr. BRADEMAS. And the latest figures I have seen show an average of over 20 staff persons per State agency. That is not very large by Federal bureaucratic standards, but it is significantly more than in the past. Of course, there are administrative staff and expenses at the area levels.
I am wondering what you would consider to be adequate for a State agency staff.
Mr. Martin. The Council recommended after a careful study that it be raised to $200,000 minimum. We believe that that would alleviate much of the difficulty at the present time and that it be increased by a 10 percent factor in the 2 succeeding years after the first, after the amount is first established.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Second, Mr. Martin, what do you say to the dispute with respect to the future course of the voluntary programs presently
administered by ACTION? Should they be, in your view, brought back to the AOX or left where they are?
Mr. MARTIN. Mr. Chairman, we are not unhappy by the way the program has been developed in the ACTION agency. We think that the people who have been working on the program have done a good job in that regard. We think that the point made yesterday is a valid one, that the Administration on Aging has a primary concern with the elderly and that the ACTION agency has a primary concern with the poor, so that we think that should be taken into account.
We have not taken a formal position on the question of return of the agency. However, if it is returned to the Administration on Aging, we have a strong feeling that Federal supervision ought to be continued in the foster grandparents program much as it exists in the title IX program, that is, that this is a national program and should not be decentralized.
RSVP, we think, could be decentralized in due course. Initially, if programs are returned to AOA, we would like to see them handled on a national basis for the time being.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Finally, what have you to say with respect to the need for closer coordination of title III and title VII? I heard a comment that it is difficult for some of the AAA's to build the nutrition programs into their area plans because the nutrition projects are often funded through a separate mechanism.
Mr. MARTIN. I always believed title VII ought to be coordinated as a part of the title III program and developed that way. There is a historical background to it. We were faced with the fact that Senator Kennedy felt very strongly that it should be kept separate and prevailed upon the committees to provide that it should be kept separate in the act, so that that was something we had to live with. But I really believe that the program should be handled as a total program.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Well, I would just make an editorial comment. I have grave reservations about what you just said for reasons not dissimilar from those emerging from our earlier discussions of the implementation of title IX. I am very apprehensive about the real world implications whenever we move toward what may be called general revenuesharing types of approaches. Because somehow with respect to CETA, as we already heard, the older workers get lost somewhere along the way.
Ì have the same apprehension with respect to the possible implications of a total program approach that would fold the nutrition program into it. But I am grateful for your observations, nonetheless.
I notice that the administration has no funding for the title IV for training personnel and I understand the reason for it, they think they should not train personnel to deal with the elderly. Do you think it is true?
Mr. MARTIN. No; I think it is very unfortunate the administration proposed to eliminate the training funds. There is a great deal of training that needs to be done. I think the existence of those funds has provided a substantial working force in the country now with real training in the field of gerontology and the jobs that need to be done in the aging field.
I think it is very unfortunate to eliminate that and to just assume that somehow that training will get done some other way.
Mr. CORNELL. Thank you.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I suppose I ought to put one waspish rhetorical question to you as we conclude. How would you like to be Commissioner of Aging again and defending its budget?
Mr. MARTIN. I don't know that that requires an answer.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Well, on that note, I want to express our appreciation to you and the Chair again wants to say that he is apologetic about the fact we had uneven time to give to our many distinguished witnesses. As I observed earlier, we have had so many good witnesses and such splendid participation on the part of our subcommittee members that we are going to have to work out new techniques for hearing witnesses.
But I am very grateful to you, Mr. Martin and Mr. Ossofsky and Mr. Hutton, for having come today and, as I have said with respect to some other witnesses, I hope you will be willing to respond to any questions that we may wish to put to you in writing.
Mr. MARTIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Thank you very much and the subcommittee is adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 12:05 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at the call of the Chair.]
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
Washington, D.C., March 6, 1975. Hon. JOHN BRADEMAS, Chairman, House Select Education Subcommittee.
DEAR John: Because your subcommittee is considering the Older Americans Act extention and amendments to that Act later this week, I am forwarding to you a copy of a bill I am introducing today to amend Title III of the Act, along with an explanatory floor statement.
I introduced the Older Americans Home Repair Assistance Act for the first time in August 1974. After its introduction, I wrote to all the state agencies on aging and to other interested organizations for their comments. Building upon the excellent suggestions submitted by many of the agencies, the bill has been revised for introduction today. I have enclosed many of the letters I have received describing the need among low-income older people for the kind of home repair assistance proposed in this bill and about home repair project experience in several states.
One of the major changes that have been made in the bill is the placement of the home repair program in Title III as a national home repair model projects program, with expectations of its substantial expansion after an initial two-year trial period. Another change was made to include the provision of both supplies and labor to the homeowner-a change which many states felt was essential to the program's success in reaching those older homeowners truly in need.
The bill authorizes $25 million for a two-year period to be spent on home repair projects. After informal discussions with officials at the Administration on Aging, we arrived at the following tentative estimates with respect to costs for the program: Cost of labor/materials for 10,000 homes (average cost per home= $1,500) --
$15, 000, 000 Federal administrative costs (salaries & expenses)
1, 250, 000 State, local administrative costs_
3, 000, 000
19, 250, 000
Workers' compensation and possible underestimates in other areas.- 5, 750, 000
Although the introduction of this bill does come late in your considerations of the Oder Americans Act, I hope that you will be able to review the bill and the supporting data I have enclosed and consider it for inclusion in the Subcommittee draft bill. I would also like to request that the materials that I am hereby submitting be placed in the Subcommittee Record of the Older Americans Act Extension. Sincerely yours,
JOHN F. SEIBERLING. Enclosures.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HION. JOHN F. SEIBERLING, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF O1110
THE OLDER AMERICANS HOME REPAIR ASSISTANCE ACT
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce the Older Americans Ilome Repair Assistance Act. The purpose of this proposal is twofold: It would help to counter the rapidly rising costs of home maintenance for approximately one-fourth of our older citizens who would be eligible to receive home repair assistance,