2014 South Carolina State Legislative Priorities

Posted on 01/14/2014 by | AARP South Carolina | Comments

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HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES–Improve funding for key home and community- based long-term care programs that help seniors stay in their homes and remain independent. South Carolina ranked 4th in the nation for the most seniors 60 and older at risk of hunger.  Now we must fight for Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell’s request for $4.7 million so that older folks will not go hungry or miss their doctor’s appointments.

LONG TERM CARE OMBUDSMEN – The South Carolina Omnibus Adult Protection Act mandates that long term care ombudsmen serve as investigators for all abuse, neglect and exploitation complaints occurring in nursing homes, residential care facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and other facilities. Residents in long-term care facilities are often physically and emotionally vulnerable, facing daily challenges in pursuing a meaningful quality of life. Whenever problems arise, residents or families can call upon an ombudsman for help. Ombudsmen receive complaints about long-term care services and then voice the residents’ concerns to nursing homes, residential care facilities, and other providers of long-term care.  The Lt. Governor is asking for $269,000 to replace four ombudsmen positions lost due to funding cuts.

RESPITE RESOURCES FOR CAREGIVERS – Respite, or rest, for caregivers of seniors and adults with disabilities allows the caregiver to take a break from their caregiver duties. There are over 777,000 caregivers in South Carolina providing vital services. If the caregiver is no longer able to provide this service and the care receiver is moved into institutional care, the state will ultimately pay for this through Medicaid. This alternative benefits the caregiver as well as the state.  AARP South Carolina supports Lt. Governor McConnell’s request for $3 million in ongoing funding for caregiver support services.

PROVIDE HEALTH CARE OPTION FOR UNINSURED 50 TO 64 YEAR OLDS – Hard working people who paid taxes throughout their adult life need the security of affordable health care.  The Affordable Care Act extended coverage through Medicaid for those making less than $15,000 a year.  That will help 65,000 South Carolinians 50 to 65 years old who are without health insurance now, if our state will agree to expand Medicaid to cover these folks.

UTILITIES – AARPSC will fight alongside our members to protect South Carolinians from unfair rate hikes or proposals that would limit consumers’ ability to weigh in on utility regulations.

VOLUNTEER GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR ADULTS – Senate Bill 764 and House Bill 4349 establish the Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem program for vulnerable adults.  The mission of the South Carolina Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem (SCVAGAL) Volunteer Program is to advocate for the best interests of abused, neglected and exploited vulnerable adults in South Carolina Family Courts by providing quality volunteer adult guardian ad litem (GAL) representation. We support making this a statewide program to protect vulnerable adults.

Contact: cbedsole@aarp.org