Now more than half way through Kentucky’s 2014 General Assembly, AARP Kentucky grassroots are fighting on priority issues being debated.  Listed below are updates on AARP Kentucky’s key issues. Your support is welcomed and needed to help inform lawmakers of what is important to you.

Contacting your state lawmakers is an important part of the process in Frankfort.  AARP Kentucky urges you to make a call, send an email or write to your legislators in support of these issues. The General Assembly’s 60 day session ends in mid-April and volunteers, supporters with AARP Kentucky staff will be there working for you.

Photo courtesy: LRC Public Information

Photo courtesy: LRC Public Information

Stay Connected – Anytime:

Toll-free General Assembly Legislative Message Line 1-800-372-7181 (Monday – Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.  Friday: 7:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. ET) • TTY Messages 1-800-896-0305 • Español 1-866-840-6574.

Governor Steve Beshear:  1-502-564-2611  Find state representatives and more on General Assembly: www.lrc.ky.gov

State Budget:House Bill 235 (Rep. Rick Rand)

AARP Kentucky supports increasing and protecting existing funding for senior meals and home and community based services provided by Area Agencies on Aging. These basic services help people to live independently in their own home and community.

Governor Steve Beshear included additional funding for 3,500 Meals on Wheels slots in his two-year State Budget proposal released earlier in January. Beshear also included funding for the Kentucky Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (KYLTCOP).

Long-Term Care Ombudsman: House Bill 235 (State Budget)
For years, the long term care ombudsman has served Kentucky’s nursing home residents by making visits and reporting what they see and learn. The Ombudsman’s role is a preventative government program aimed at helping nursing home residents maintain dignity, self-worth, quality of care and quality of life. Earlier in 2013, the Area Agencies on Aging learned they will no longer be able to fund the LTC Ombudsmen with Civil Monetary Funds. These funds are levied when a nursing home is fined for not following the law.

Family Caregivers: Senate Concurrent Resolution 102 & House Concurrent Resolution 20

AARP Kentucky is working to increase the number of lawmakers co-sponsoring to proposals to research and make recommendation to better support family caregivers. Every year an estimated 735,000 Kentuckians are caregivers to a loved one. Their caregiving saves taxpayer dollars by providing an estimated 704 million hours of care at an estimated value of $7.1 billion.

Telephone Deregulation:  Senate Bill 99

AARP Kentucky opposes efforts to further weaken consumer protections and choice in telephone services. In February, Senate Bill 99 passed the full Senate as in the  is now waiting for its next hearing in the House Economic Development Committee.

Senate Bill 99 would put reliable phone service at risk for all Kentuckians.  Calls to your state Representative are needed to tell them to vote “No” on Senate Bill 99.  Their “No” vote means you will continue to have access to basic phone service, no matter what part of the state you live in.

Adult Protection/Abuse Registry: Senate Bill 98  & House Bill 256 

AARP Kentucky supports both proposals to create an Kentucky adult protection registry to prevent serial offenders from moving from place to place where they could potentially abuse or harm an adult within their care. In the last five years, more than 7,000 cases of adult abuse, neglect and exploitation have been substantiated by the Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CHFS) in the last 5 years.

This would be a vital protection for older Kentuckians and Kentuckians with disabilities. The Adult Protection Registry Senate Bill 98 also passed out of the senate by a vote of 36 – 0. This is a very good bill and it will now go to the House and should be assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

Cyber Security and Breach NotificationHouse Bill 5
Consumer protection in today’s digital world is a priority. House Bill 5 incentivizes state and local government to take steps to increase cyber security protections and requires it to notify individuals affected by a data breach within 35 days of the incident. Nationwide, 46 states require citizens be notified when their personal information (medical records, social security numbers, etc.) is lost or stolen.

Stay Connected with AARP Kentucky:

Senator Gerald Neal  Photo credit: LRC Public Information

Photo courtesy: LRC Public Information

Online: aarp.org/ky • Facebook.com/AARPKentucky  Twitter: @AARPKY • email kyaarp@aarp.org