Legislative News … Daniel nNorth and Claudia Schott

With the February 22nd deadline for bringing new legislation to the table, we were not disappointed. California Senators and Representatives brought nearly 800 new bills out, almost half of them will have to wait for March 22 to be heard. Among the more interesting ones for us oldsters are
AB856 – Personal Income Tax Credit for Homecare Services – Qualifying individuals and couples would get a 25% credit of their homecare outlay, up to $5000 on their income taxes.
AB715 – Medical Program for Aged and Disabled – The new implementation would allow for an extra $230 in income for individuals and $310 for couples to qualify for the program. It would not be lower than their SSI/SSP payment.
AB836 – Bay Area Clean Air Incentive – This would allow for the retrofitting of the ventilation systems in schools, sports centers, senior centers, community centers and libraries to create a network of clean air centers, especially for wildfire season and bad air days.
SB611 – Housing: elderly and individuals with disabilities – Establishes a master plan that would ensure enough affordable housing is available in each city and county for the growing elderly population and disabled persons.

These are just a few interesting potential policies. AARP will have a few more to share throughout the year. In the meantime: AARP is launching a multi-year campaign to lower Rx (drug) prices for all Americans and is working to put a human face on the campaign by featuring videos and online stories about people who are having difficulties affording their prescriptions.

Looking to launch the campaign by the beginning of March, AARP is collecting these stories right now. The main criteria are for the person to have Rx costs they are struggling to afford and for them to feel comfortable sharing their story widely via video. If you are or know someone who fits the bill and would be willing to share his or her story, please let Antoine Cook (acook@aarp.org) and Mark Beach (mbeach@aarp.org) know ASAP. Mark and AARP’s Communications Team will coordinate directly with the individuals.