GCOA's Senior Issues Newsletter: Week of April 4, 2022
Senior Issues Newsletter April 4, 2022
Monday, April 4th
Legislative Day 40, Sine Die!
Today is Sine Die, the final day of the 2022 Legislative Session and the culmination of all of our advocacy efforts over the last several months! So much energy and effort have been put into the development and vetting of legislation brought forth by the Governor, the Senate and the House.
This is the final date for a bill to be passed by the Senate and the House before it finally gets to the Governor for approval or veto. As we reported in an earlier newsletter, a bill doesn’t become a law until it gets the Governor's signature! However, the only legislation that is constitutionally mandated to be passed by this date is the State Budget, which explains why this important bill is introduced at the very beginning of the Legislative Session.
In this Issue:
Call For Issues
The legislature is in for a long day under the Gold Dome, working up until the clock strikes midnight, marking the official close of the 2022 Georgia General Assembly!
GCOA Continues to Advocate for Home and Community Based Services
By midnight tonight, both the House and the Senate must agree on the FY2023 budget, which can then be sent to the Governor for his approval and signature. The proposed $4 million for Home & Community Based Services will remove thousands of older Georgians off the waiting list, helping them to continue aging in place and out of long-term care prematurely. Keep your eye out for an alert to thank your legislators for this appropriation.
Help Bring Awareness to a Valuable Resource
While it appears that the FY2023 budget will not include funding for a marketing campaign to spread awareness about the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, our advocacy efforts have raised awareness of the program and how valuable it is for our seniors.
We will continue to take steps to further increase the visibility of this service. You can join in these efforts by visiting the ombudsman website HERE and sharing the information with loved ones.
Allow Older Georgians to Have Ample Access to Care in Assisted Living
CO-AGE is looking to the Georgia Health Policy Center, which connects decision makers with the objective research and guidance needed to make informed decisions about health policy, financing, and program implementation, as we further investigate the impact of the proposed Medicaid legislation.
Family Caregivers Take a Proactive Role in Caring for Their Loved Ones After a Hospital Stay
On Friday, Legislative Day 39, the Georgia Caregivers Act, HB 1304, was presented on the Senate Floor and passed out with a resounding 50 "YEAs" and 0 "NAYs"! The bill will soon be headed to the Governor’s Office for his signature. A big thank you to Representative Lee Hawkins for carrying the bill throughout this legislative session, to CO-AGE for taking part in the advocacy alerts and to our advocacy partners, AARP and the Alzheimer's Association for supporting this bill.
Study Committee Needed to Explore Nursing Home Options
HR 768, to create a study committee to expand long term care options, will be heard on the House Floor for a vote today! Another thank you to Representative Lee Hawkins for carrying this resolution throughout the legislative session!
Other Legislative News
Last week, the monumental Georgia Mental Health Parity Act, HB 1013, was passed by both chambers. It is now awaiting the Governor's final approval in order to become law. In February, GCOA published a press release in support of this comprehensive bipartisan bill, which will help address the growing number of Georgian’s grappling with mental illness.
Call for Issues
The time has come for our annual Call for Issues!
Every year, GCOA provides the opportunity for voting CO-AGE members, those with individual ($10) or organizational memberships ($100), to submit ideas to become a GCOA priority issue.
Does your issue:
Affect older Georgians throughout the state?
Require state legislative action for correction?
If the answer is “yes” to both of these questions, then your issue may be eligible to become one of the 2023 CO-AGE Priorities! We look forward to your 2023 submissions!
Save the Date
April is just around the corner! ENGAGE with CO-AGE will be April 25th – April 29th. GCOA is working on a virtual format for this year's ENGAGE with CO-AGE events. #COAGECARES
Contact Eric Ryan at email@example.com if you are interested in hosting a virtual event.