Monday, February 26, 2018

Advocacy Update - February 26

State Advocacy

HB 236 - Reauthorization of Senior Benefits Program.  This bill awaits its hearing in the Senate Finance Committee.  AARP Alaska supports reauthorization, and has also requested the Finance Committee consider increasing the fiscal note to restore funding for the $125/month benefit level.  This level was reduced two years ago to $76/month, and we are concerned it will erode further with the current fiscal note attached to the bill.

SB 63 - Statewide Smokefree Workplace.  This bill continues to await a hearing in the House Rules Committee.  Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, the committee chair, has been a vocal opposition to this bill and continues to hold it up.  It would most surely pass a vote of the full House, as there is overwhelming support across Alaska for smoke-free Anchorage, Juneau, Bethel, and many other communities already have.

HB 336 - Supported Decision Making Agreements.  More easily referred to as SDMA's, this is a cutting edge concept that provides a person-centered alternative to guardianship for vulnerable adults.  It creates a formal legal agreement among the principal (vulnerable adult) and his/her chosen "supporters" who will provide counsel and support in making important decisions.  HB 336, introduced by Rep. Charisse Millett, will have its first hearing next Thursday, March 1, in the House Health and Social Services Committee.

Other bills to note that AARP Alaska is considering for support:

AARP Alaska will be in Juneau with 20 volunteers Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 26-28, for the annual Legislative Fly-In

What We're Reading:
Workers age 50+ more likely to work part-time

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