CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bureau of Senior Services' central administrative offices will absorb budget cuts in excess of 10 percent in the 2012-13 state budget in hopes of deflecting the impact of the 7.5 percent overall cuts ordered for most state agencies by the Tomblin administration, Commissioner Robert Roswell told legislators Monday.
"That allowed us to reduce some of the cuts that go directly to services," he told the House Finance Committee.
The 7 1/2 percent cut will not affect Senior Services as much as many state agencies, since only about 11 percent of its budget comes from general revenue, with Lottery proceeds, federal funding and special revenue accounting for most of its budget.
Overall, the agency's budget will be cut about $1.79 million, to $91.36 million.
In 2012, the bureau served nearly 230,500 seniors, with 64 percent of its clients being 75 or older. Of those, 25 percent have incomes below the poverty level, and two of every three clients live alone, he said.
The bureau provides a variety of services to clients, including personal care, caregiver respite, transportation, homemaker services, with meals -- both home-delivered and served at senior centers -- accounting for 61 percent of the total, he said.
In 2012, the bureau provided 1.4 million home-delivered meals and nearly 1 million meals at senior centers.
While the congregate meals are frequently as much for social wellbeing as nutrition, the in-home meals meet a critical need, Roswell said.