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2019 LEG PRIORITIES

The following list of Bills that are being considered during the 2019 Winter Washington State Legislative Session reflect the priorities designated by the Senior Lobby Member Organizations.   

 Aging ad Long-Term Support Administration – Washington State Dept. of Social and Health Services

  1.  Concerning the protection of vulnerable adults
  2. Regarding Nursing Facility Medicaid Rates
  3. Safe Egress Rooms in Adult Family Homes
  4. funding Investigation to Protect Individuals with Disabilities in the Supported Living program

Disability Rights Washington (DRW) – Priorities

  1. Decriminalize Mental Illness by fully funding the Trueblood settlement, which will divert individuals from jail to treatment.
  2. Fund the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds. Ensure that the office funding is maintained in the 2020-2021 budget.

DRW’s Age-Wave Related Priority

Seniors and People with Disabilities who have limited capacity should be supported in making their choices and decisions. 

  • Fund the Office of Public Guardianship. The office currently serves less than 100 individuals. The office should be funded so that it can respond to the needs of individuals who are in crisis, have no family or friends to help, and are poor. Many of these are seniors.
  • Expand the scope and increase the efficiency of the Office of Public Guardianship. Allow the OPG to use alternatives to guardianship to support individuals who need help, but can be supported without a guardian. Also, allow the office to manage caseloads efficiently by implementing “case weighting”
  • Implement Guardianship Monitoring. Fund pilot guardianship monitoring that includes in home visits, review of all reports and accountings, training for lay/family guardians, and use of volunteers where appropriate.  (Spokane County Model)
  • Expand “Informed Consent” options. Medical decisions can currently be made for incapacitated persons by some selected relatives. Expanding this list would avoid guardianship and unnecessary hospital stays.

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AARP 2019 Legislative Priorities

1087 – Long-term Care Trust Act

Retirement Marketplace and Auto IRA

Senior Property Tax Exemption

1071 – Data Breach Notification

Uniform Guardianship Act and Alternates to Guardianship

Difficult to discharge patients improving options for patients

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Adult Family Home Council

HB 1023- Allowing certain Adult Family homes to increase capacity to eight beds

HB 1087 – Long Term Care Trust Act

Collective Bargaining Medicare Rate

Adult Family Home Network

Specialized Contract During Assessment

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Alzheimer’s Association

HB 1087 – Long Term Care Turst Act

JLEG

Dementia Action Collaborative(DAC)

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Hearing Loss Association of WA

HB 1078/SB 5210 – Hearing Aid Act for telecoil/Blue tooth rules

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Washington State Continuing Care Residents Assoc. (WACCRA)

HB 1296 – Concerning continuing car retirement communities

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PSARA 2019 Legislative Agenda

Supports efforts to create a state-based long-term care social insurance program

Supports Long Term Car Trust Act

Supports a more progressive revenue system, transparet budget accounting for tax exemptions and elimination of tax exemptions

Support allocation of at least $200 million to the Housing Trust Fund, raising the senior property Tax exemption, supports changes to to the landlord-tenant laws

Support legislation that furthers the goal of universal health care coverage, Washington Health Security Trust and a bridge to single-payer

Supports efforts to achieve environmental justice to counter the disastroud effects of climate change

Supports efforts to  create a State Investment Trust (State Bank)


Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging

$9.9 million GFS Case Management/Clients with Mental Illness

  • In-home long-term care is an under-appreciated support for 4,000 people with serious mental illness. One in four of the people discharged to long-term care from the state mental health hospitals is placed in-home.
  • Governor’s budget funds $7.2 million GFS ($14.6 million including federal match) to provide adequate time for case managers to oversee care of people with the most complex combination mental and physical health challenges.
  • We also need $2.7 million GFS ($5.4 million including federal match) to index case management funding to match inflation to prevent caseloads from increasing. 

Pass the Long-Term Care Trust Act- HB 1087

  • Mitigate our communities’ largest uninsured risk, provide security for families before they impoverish themselves to qualify for care, provide resources for family caregivers to support loved ones as they age at home.

$10.9 million GFS to increase Personal Needs Allowance for in-home clients

  • $10.9 million GFS ($24.7 million including federal match) was funded in the Governor’s budget to increase the amount in-home Medicaid long-term care clients can keep to maintain their household from $1000/month to $1200/month. This would allow clients to cope with rising expenses to stay in their own homes and less likely to choose between paying for needed care and paying for food, utilities, and other bills.  This will reduce the risk of clients having to move to more expensive residential care when they cannot afford to stay at home.

$5.4 million GFS to address Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

The Dementia Action Collaborative has prioritized the need to support early diagnosis, legal and advance care planning, community dementia care specialists, specialized service capacity, and primary care best practices.

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WEA-RETIRED LEGISLATIVE GOALS  – 2019-2019

Overarching Goals for all TRS, PERS and SERS Plans

  • Ensure continued state contribution toward retiree healthcare coverage
  • Restore Medicare subsidy to at least the previous level and establish it in statute with an annual inflation factor
  • Support defined benefit versus defined contribution retirement plans

Specific Goals for TRS and PERS Plan I

 Establish an annual COLA -Continue the plan to eliminate the unfunded liability by adding additional money through an increase in the employer rate

Specific Goals for TRS and SERS Plan II    

  • Allow members to retire at age 62 without penalty
  • Support efforts to reduce pension penalties for those who take early retirement
  • Allow PEBB access when leaving service without drawing retirement
  • Allow members sick leave cash-out at the time of separation from service without penalty
  • Make Plan 2 the default plan for new employees
  • Provide a disability benefit for members of Plan 2 who are permanently disabled and can no longer work

Specific Goals for TRS, PERS and SERS Plan III

  • Allow members to retire at age 62 without penalty
  • Allow five-year vesting without age restrictions
  • Allow members sick leave cash-out at the time of separation from service without penalty
  • Support efforts to reduce pension penalties for those who take early retirement
  • Make Plan 2 the default plan for new members
  • Provide a disability benefit for members of Plan 3 who are permanently disabled and can no longer work

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Washington State School retirees’ Assoc. (WSSRA) – Goals for the 2019 Legislative Session

Protect against cuts.  Potential benefit cuts cold come in the form ofhealth benefit reductions, continued attacks on PLan 1, attempts to reduce the Plan 2/3 COLa, skipping pension funding paments or mvoing state employees to a defined contribution 401 k style retirement plan.

Other important tasks include:

  • Improving Health Benefits
  • Granting a Plan 1 COLA
  • Early Retirement in Plans 2 & 3
  • Plan 2 Default
  • VEBA
  • Monitoring K-12 Funding

State Council on Aging (SCOA)

Dementia Action Collaborative (DAC)

Continue the work of JLEC

Support additional funding for the Housing Trust Fund

Funding for the Long Term Care Ombuds Program

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SEIU 775

HB 1087 – Long Term Care Act

Funding Collective Bargaining agreement

Affordable Housing

Cascade Care – Public Option

Guardianship issue support

Affordable Housing Package

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Manufactured/Mobile Homeowners

HB 1033 – Relocation Assistance

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