The California Senior Legislature Announces 2014 Priorities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The California Senior Legislature Announces Top Legislative Priorities for 2014
(Sacramento, CA. November 1, 2014) The California Senior Legislature (CSL) adjourned its 33rd Annual Legislative Session on Thursday afternoon and will announce the Top Ten State Legislative Proposals and Top Four Federal proposals at a news conference at the State Capitol today.
The following were listed as the top ten State Legislative proposals:
- The Improved Senior Access to Courts (AP-30) would make permanent the elder court pilot programs currently maintained in three California counties and create three more pilot elder court programs in the counties of Napa, Riverside and San Bernardino. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Rolfe of Suisun and Senior Assembly Member Mitchell of Los Angeles.
- The Cognitive Assessment (AP-21) proposal would require a cognitive assessment that is capable of distinguishing between mild cognitive impairment and normal aging to be offered to Medicare patients, as part of the benefit, in California. This proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member MacAllister of Huntington Beach.
- The Financial Abuse: Money Transmitters (AP-25) proposal would include money transmitters in the definition of mandated reporters of suspected elder abuse and require licensed persons to report the known or suspected instance of financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, to the local adult protective services agency or local law enforcement. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Molnar of Santa Cruz.
- The Prescription Medication Labels: Reduction of Medical Errors (AP-46) proposal would require health care providers to include on prescription drug orders to pharmacists, the name and dosage of the medication that a patient’s prescription is replacing or changing, and further require pharmacists to compare this information to the automatic refill list and include it on the label of the prescription drug replacement prescription. This proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Wolfe of San Diego.
- A proposal addressing Property Tax (SP-2) would give seniors who are 65 year or older an additional $20,000 exemption of the full value of a primary place of residence, for a total of homeowner’s property tax exemption of $27,000. This proposal was authored by Senior Senator Eaton of Shingle Springs and Senior Senator Loh of San Luis Obispo.
- The Health Care Facilities (AP-5) proposal would prohibit owners, operators, or employees of licensed health care facilities from serving as a representative payee on behalf of a resident of the facility. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Godager of San Bernardino.
- The Senior Health Promotion Act (AP-1) proposal would utilize prevention funding, through the California’s implementation of the Federal Affordable Care Act, to fund more evidence-based programs for seniors that would support seniors’ desire to age in place. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Borenstein of Los Angeles.
- A proposal relating to Mandatory Emergency Treatment (AP-10) requires all independent living facilities for seniors to have at least one staff member trained in basic emergency treatment. This proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Jackson of Bakersfield.
- The Medi-Cal Coverage: Falls Risk Assessment (AP-31) would include similar falls prevention education, assessments and in-home interventions as covered benefits under California’s Medi-Cal Program. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Rolfe of Suisun.
- The Geriatric Behavioral Health (AP-18) proposal would establish two geriatric behavioral health positions to provide senior level behavioral health leadership and expert support: one within the California Department of Aging, and one within the California Department of Health Care Services, Behavioral Health Care Services. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Krohn of Walnut Creek.
- The Building Standards: Staircase Handrails (SP-19) proposal would require all public staircases to be equipped with handrails, without exception and was authored by Senior Senator Steir of San Francisco.
The following were identified as the Top Four Federal Legislative proposals:
- The Labeling of Prescription Drugs (AFP-2) proposal requires that all prescriptions contain a notice on the prescription label of the purpose for which the drug is being prescribed, unless the patient or the physician request that this information be omitted. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Gould of Los Angeles.
- The Medicare: Dental Coverage (AFP-6) proposal would include general dental examinations and other services for good dental health as a covered benefit under the Medicare Program. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Lindley of San Jose.
- The Social Security: Death Reporting (AFP-1) proposal would require all Funeral Directors to notify the Federal Social Security Administration of a deaths processed. The proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Glasmeier of Thousand Oaks.
- The Social Security Burial Benefits (AFP-9) proposal requires that the Social Security Administration’s burial benefit be increased to $495 and be payable to immediate family members, who include, but are not limited to, the surviving spouse and child. The Proposal was authored by Senior Assembly Member Taylor of Modesto.
In addition, the CSL membership seeks support for the following proposal which is critical to sustaining the work of the small independent state agency. The California Fund for Senior Citizens (AP-2) authored by Senior Assembly Member Dahlgren of Los Banos proposes to eliminate the minimum funding requirement for the voluntary tax contribution fund associated with the California Fund for Senior Citizens, the primary funding source for the California Senior Legislature (CSL). The CSL is dependent on voluntary tax contributions to maintain operations and support critical staff. This proposal will be a special state legislative priority in 2013.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Senior Senator Alice Loh, newly elected Joint Rules Committee Chair at the Sacramento Office at (916) 552-8056.