Representative Sharon Cooper Named Outstanding Legislator of the Year
Advocates gathered to prepare for success in the 2019 Legislative session!
Atlanta, GA – July 12, 2018 – The Georgia Council on Aging named Representative Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, as the 2018 Legislator of the Year before an enthusiastic crowd of over 110 people at the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly meeting. The annual meeting took place on Thursday, July 12, at the Methodist Children’s Home in Macon, Georgia.
Representative Cooper was honored because of her steadfast commitment to Senior issues and especially for fighting elder abuse and for sponsoring House Bill 635. HB 635 assists local communities in creating task forces to investigate the abuse of at-risk adults. Elder abuse is an iceberg crime that is mostly hidden from view even though estimates are that 10% of Georgia’s elderly and disabled adults are victims of abuse and/or financial exploitation. The bill was signed by Governor Deal on May 7th along with two other bills that fight elder abuse and were supported by Rep Cooper. HB 803 creates the crime of trafficking an at-risk adult to steal their benefits. SB 406 requires FBI fingerprinting background checks for all direct care workers in long term care facilities. In addition to honoring Representative Cooper during the meeting, coalition advocates heard from thirteen presenters regarding potential issues for the 2019 Legislative session.
The Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (CO-AGE) was begun and led by the Georgia Council on Aging. It is a diverse group of organizations, individuals, consumers and providers interested in “aging specific” and inter-generational issues. The coalition is meant to be a forum to identify and address concerns of older Georgians; a vehicle for bringing broad-based input on aging issues from across the state as well as a unifying force communicating the importance of providing supportive communities and adequate services and programs for older Georgians.
The Georgia Council on Aging (GCOA) was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1977 to advise the governor, assembly, and state agencies on matters relating to Georgia’s seniors. Members of the 20-person council, drawn from every region of the state, also advocate for aging Georgians and their families and make recommendations to lawmakers and agencies on programs for seniors.