Here are highlights of AARP North Carolina's 2009-2010 legislative agenda. For a complete listing of priorities, as well as other information related to our advocacy in the North Carolina General Assembly, please click on the link below.
AARP will focus on issues that affect health and long-term care, economic security, support for families, utilities, livable communities and mobility options.
Our priority issues in the area of in-home and community services include (a) securing recurring funding for the Home and Community Care Block Grant, (b) increasing funding for respite care and support to caregivers for persons with Alzheimer's, (c) creating a state long-term care partnership program and increasing funds for public education about long-term care insurance, and (d) supporting adult day health services as a reimbursable service through the state Medicaid plan.
In terms of long-term care quality and safety, key issues include (a) assuring that persons with mental illness are placed appropriately in long-term care facilities and (b) providing adequate funding for special care units for persons with mental health disabilities.
In order to improve health care accessibility and affordability, we will advocate on behalf of (a) preserving Medicaid eligibility and services for older and disabled adults, (b) ensuring that North Carolina has a viable drug wrap-around benefit for low income Medicare eligible individuals, (c) reducing the number of uninsured persons in the state and (d)expanding dental care for older and disabled adults, including special populations.
Legislative priorities involving families and vulnerable older adult populations include (a) establishing a family caregiver tax credit for expenses incurred in caring for an older or disabled family member at home and (b) reducing the property tax burden on limited income older and disabled adults. We will also advocate for (c) providing employees with a minimum number of paid annual sick days to care for themselves or a family member, (d) enacting and funding changes to adult protective service statutes proposed by a task force and (e) updating guardianship laws and providing funding for public guardianship services.
In order to support stronger communities and citizen engagement, AARP will advocate for (a) supporting transportation options and choices that enable communities to be senior friendly and that are financed in a fair and sustainable way, (b) providing a $50 million recurring appropriation for the Housing Trust Fund, (c) appropriating $750,000 in recurring funding for certified senior centers, (d) strengthening state and local preparedness for an increasing aging population, and (e) expanding health promotion and disease prevention programs, including making public places and worksites smoke-free.
Background briefings are available on all our key legislative priorities. Visit our online Journal pages and scroll through the briefings to find the appropriate one.