To the 191st General Court:

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On behalf of the 350 cities and towns that have established a municipally based Council on Aging, we want to thank members of the 191st General Court for their support maintaining the COA Formula Grant to $12/elder this year (FY20), and fully funding the Service Incentive Grant Program. This form of local aid will allow COAs to augment their municipal budgets to expand existing services and programs that are designed to help residents of our Commonwealth age 60 and over. We are truly grateful that so many of you made COAs a priority when you spoke to the Ways and Means Chairs and then lobbied the Speaker and the President for final passage.

As we approach deadlines for the 191st General Court’s legislative session, we want to restate our requests of the Legislature.

2019-2020 Legislative Session: Proposed Legislation:

As MCOA reviews legislation germane to older people of our Commonwealth, we have endorsed the following pieces of legislation that have been filed in the 191st General Court session. This list will continue to be revised as all additional proposals are vetted by our legislative team.

S.1692 An Act providing property tax relief for older adults: By Edward J. Kennedy, David Allen Robertson, Patrick M. O’Connor, Michael O. Moore and other members of the General Court for legislation to provide property tax relief for older adults. Sent to Revenue.

S.945 An Act relative to the expansion of the Good Samaritan law: By Anne M. Gobi, Denise Provost and Susannah M. Whipps for legislation relative to the expansion of the Good Samaritan law. Sent to Judiciary.

H.1348 An Act relative to the expansion of the Good Samaritan law: By Donald R. Berthiaume, Jr. and others relative to liability of persons in transit in private vehicles rendering care and assistance to persons in need. Sent to Judiciary.

S.678 & H.1173 An Act improving public health through a common application for core food, health and safety-net programs: By Sal N. DiDomenico, Paul A. Schmid, III, Jason M. Lewis, Mary S. Keefe and other members of the General Court for legislation to improve public health through a common application for core food, health and safety-net programs. Sent to Health Care Financing.

H.622 An Act relative to construction and rehabilitation of senior centers: By James J. O’Day and others for legislation to establish a senior center assistance board to assist in the construction or rehabilitation of facilities housing senior centers. Sent to Elder Affairs.

S.372 An Act relative to reserving beds in nursing homes during certain leaves of absence: By Mark C. Montigny, Sean Garballey, Michael F. Rush, Tram T. Nguyen and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to reserving beds in nursing homes during certain leaves of absence. Sent to Elder Affairs

S.357 An Act increasing the personal needs allowance for residents of long term care facilities: By Patricia D. Jehlen, Jason M. Lewis, Steven Ultrino, John H. Rogers and other members of the General Court for legislation to increase the personal care allowance of residents of long-term care facilities. Sent to Elder Affairs.

2019-2020 Legislative Session: Proposed Legislation (continued P.2)

H.607 An Act increasing the personal needs allowance for residents of long term care facilities: By Sean Garballey and others for legislation to increase the personal needs allowance for certain elderly and disabled residents residing in licensed medical facilities. Sent to Elder Affairs.

S.355 & H.613 An Act relative to intensive case management for clinically complex older adults: By Cindy F. Friedman, James B. Eldridge, Kay Khan, Bradford Hill and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to intensive case management for clinically complex older adults. Sent to Elder Affairs.

S.668 An act to support equal access to community care for elders and the disabled: By Joanne M. Comerford, Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr., Bradford Hill, Kay Khan and others for legislation to support equal access to community care for elders and the disabled. Sent to Health Care Financing.

S.354 & H612 An Act promoting affordability of home care services: By Julian Cyr, James B. Eldridge, Kay Khan, Bradford Hill and other members of the General Court for legislation to promote affordability of home care services. Sent to Elder Affairs.

S.358 & H630 An Act relative to home care: By Patricia D. Jehlen, Jason M. Lewis, Mathew J. Muratore, James B. Eldridge and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to home care. Sent to Elder Affairs.

SB 365/HB 625 An Act authorizing the option of providing basic common sense health services for residents of assisted living residences. By  Patricia D. Jehlen and Smitty Pignatelli. Sent to Elder Affairs

SB 361 An act directing the administration to amend the Frail Elder Home and Community Based Waiver to permit eligible older adults to choose to reside in certified assisted living residences.   By Patricia D. Jehlen. Referred to Elder Affairs, received a favorable report and was referred to Health Care Finance.

S.358 and H. 630 An Act relative to Home Care: By Patricia Jehlen, Aaron Vega and Carmine Gentile for legislation directing the Commonwealth to implement a consistent and rational wage and rate setting process for all essential home care workers that serve elders and persons with disabilities across the long-term care continuum. Sent to Elder Affairs.

H128/S668 An Act to support equal access to community care for elders and the disabled that allows nursing home eligible seniors who are slightly over the income level to access community based care without being impoverished. By Rep Natalie Higgins and Jo Comerford. Sent to Health Care Finance.

H615/S688 An Act to preserve special needs trusts for disabled seniors by Rep Hogan and Sen Jehlen to preserve pooled trusts for disabled seniors 65 and older.  Sent Health Care Finance

S.64 & H.172 An Act relative to supported decision-making agreements for certain adults with disabilities: By Joan B. Lovely, Rebecca L. Rausch, Mike Connolly, Michael D. Brady, Aaron Vega, Paul Tucker and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to supported decision-making agreements for certain adults with disabilities. Sent to Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.

H.2606 & S.702 An Act to Establish the Family Caregiving Tax Credit: By David Rogers, Jason Lewis and other members of the General Court for legislation to establish the family caregiver tax credit. Sent to Health Care Financing.

H.1075 and S.602 An Act to establish the Massachusetts secure choice retirement program and expand the Massachusetts CORE plan to all employers: By Tram T. Nguyen, Pat Jehlen and others for legislation to establish the Massachusetts secure choice retirement program and expand the Massachusetts CORE plan to all employers. Financial Services.

In addition, we welcome any opportunity to vet and possibly support legislation that improves the lives of older adults of our Commonwealth. Let us know of your proposals.

Thank you for your consideration of these requests and your support of the Commonwealth’s older adults.

Rebecca Moriarty                                                                           Jayne Colino
MCOA President and                                                                     MCOA Legislative Chair and
Director, Hampden Council on Aging                                         Director, Newton Council on Aging

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Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138