Sr. Tarheel Legislature update Feb. 2

Published 1:24 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2023

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Since its creation with the passage of Senate Bill 479 in July of 1993, the N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislature (NCSTHL) has served as a nonpartisan, unicameral body tasked by the General Assembly to identify the most pressing issues facing older adults across the state and propose new legislation that will improve their quality of life.

To celebrate its 30 years, Davie Senior Services, 278 Meroney St., Mocksville,  will host a celebration Thursday, Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m. with refreshments and report from the county’s NCSTHL delegate, Allison Brown.

Brown will present a program about the work and announce the Top Five Legislative Priorities which we will submit for consideration by the NC General Assembly in the 2023-24 legislative cycle.

• Allocate an additional $8M in recurring funds for Adult Protective Services (APS) to address staff shortages. In 2021, 32,075 reports of mistreatment were reported across the state, compared to 14,001 in 2006.

• Increase the Senior Center General Purpose Appropriation by $1,265,316 in recurring funds. The current allocation is not meeting the demands of a growing population, she said.

• Allocate an additional $8M in recurring funds for the Home and Community Care Block Grant. The current $36.9 million “is insufficient to meet the need,” Brown said. She said these grants are the primary funding source for community-based programs for residents age 60 and older.

• Allocate an additional $1.5M in recurring funds for 11 additional long-term care ombudsmen. The current allocation is $918,800. “Ombudsmen serve as advocates for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, providing protections for vulnerable elders.”

• Strengthen long-term care staffing standards. Brown said: “In nursing homes, NC mandates minimum staffing standards for RNs and LPNs. For CNAs, there are no staff standards, resulting in a strong liklihood of substandard care of frail elders.”

Davie Senior Services will provide pastries and coffee for the Feb. 2 update. Sen. Steve Jarvis and Rep. Julia C. Howard, as well as local elected officials, are invited.