Legislative…Daniel Nnorth

This is the latest I have on the few things in front of the Legislature before they pass the new budget:

SB 323 (Hernandez) – Nurse Practitioners to be able to practice to the full extent of their training – Hearing will have been on June 16, at 9 AM I hope everyone was there in red shirts giving their support. As of this writing, I won’t have an update as to what the outcome was/is, but will have it for you next time!

ACR 38 (Brown) – Caregiver Task Force to examine issues faced by family caregivers – This is up in Senate Human Services on Tuesday, June 9 at 1:30 PM. No word yet as to the outcome. I will update you in the August Newsletter.

SB 675 (Liu) – Transitional Care requiring hospitals to notify family caregivers of a patient’s discharge and to provide instructions regarding post hospital care – the CARE Act has passed the Senate and heads to the Assembly. No hearing date has been set yet.

State Budget Update – The legislature passed a budget on June 16th. The Conference Committee had been working all week. AARP has weighed in on a few items that reflect what emerged from the Assembly or Senate Budget Committees. They are as follows:

1) AARP supports the 3.8 million dollar budget augmentation for the Caregiver Resource Centers (CRCs). This will ensure that unpaid family caregivers receive the direct core services necessary to keep their loved ones at home.

2) We are also urging the legislature to adopt the enhanced funding formula for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program from the Assembly Budget recommendation. Regular Ombudsman presence saves the State of California money by detecting and resolving complaints before they escalate into regulatory violations and crimes requiring the involvement of higher-cost agencies such as law enforcement and licensing agencies or causing serious harm to facility residents requiring medical services thru the Medi-Cal program.

3) We are also asking them to adopt the Assembly Budget proposal to restore the COLA provided to Social Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) recipients starting January 1, 2016, with a cost of $33 million General Fund. SSI/SSP provides modest income support to the most impoverished seniors and disabled adults. At a minimum, this allows many to avoid total destitution and homelessness, and to age in their own homes and communities with independence and dignity.

4) We support the proposals in both committees to restore the seven-percent reduction in the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) hours. IHSS not only enables seniors and persons with disabilities to age in place, but it may also provide caregivers with necessary respite to run errands or go to work. There are a few more items for which AARP is giving its support, because they will allow seniors and people with disabilities to age in their own homes and communities with dignity and independence. But I am running out of space here and will update and give you a full report in the next newsletter.