Voters Pass Non-binding Healthcare Questions

By Todd Wineburner

In Tuesday’s election, Livingston County voters gave a strong vote of approval to a proposition calling for county-funded home health care services, and a slightly less enthusiastic endorsement for a tax increase to cover the costs of such a program.

At one time, Livingston County had a program that provided home-based health services for seniors but funding for that program ended at the end of the last fiscal year. A citizen’s group felt that the program was necessary, so they mounted a petition drive throughout the summer to place a non-binding proposal on the ballot, asking voters if the earlier program should be restored or replaced. Nearly 85 percent of voters said “yes”.

In response to the citizen’s group, however, the county board felt that revenue questions should be addressed as well. They placed another non-binding question on the ballot asking voters if they would support a requisite tax increase to fund the new program. That proposal was also approved, but with a significantly smaller percentage of the vote.

In a conversation with WJEZ in August, Livingston County Board Chair Bob Young told Todd Wineburner that, in light of a positive voter response, the board will take up the question of home-based health care again. He cautioned, though, that a number of variables were at work including changes in the board’s membership and possibly its leadership, so he couldn’t speculate on what the board might ultimately do. He said the process will begin with discussion on the committee level.