JUN 1—Executive Director Karen Buck testified at the June 1st, 2022 public hearing held by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA), Philadelphia’s Area Agency on Aging, on its 2022-23 budget to provide services and supports to older Philadelphians. “Funding for legal services is funding for essential human needs. Congress has recognized and mandated this; yet the PCA budget again this year fails to do so. Congress has recognized that legal services affect quality of life and indeed often very survival, and thus requires AAAs to make legal services a priority funding area – one of only 3 identified in the federal Older Americans Act,” Ms. Buck stated.
“PCA’s allocation of just over $400,000 – less than 1 % of an almost $83,000,000 budget — ignores real crises of Philadelphia’s elders, and places the burden of funding justice on the shoulders of legal services agencies.” Examining budgets and prior testimony over the past 25 years during her tenure as Executive Director of SeniorLAW Center (formerly known as Judicare), Ms. Buck noted that the budget line item for legal services for the fiscal year 2022-23 is actually less than it was 10 years ago, without even accounting for inflation. “The status quo is no longer acceptable….We ask PCA to do its part to make Philadelphia a city that values justice for our elders.” See full testimony here.