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AARP 2015 Legislative Agenda

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Caregiving tops the AARP agenda this session, and AARP is strongly supporting four bills that provide for older adults:

HB 1033, by Reps. Dianne Primavera and James Wilson and Sen. Larry Crowder, creates a strategic planning group. A single comprehensive strategic plan can among other things determine the impact of the demographic shift on the state’s workforce and economy, assess the regional impacts of this shift, determine the long-term effects on the state’s budget, and assess the impact of caregiving on Colorado families and businesses. The plan’s goal is to improve Colorado’s readiness for this ongoing demographic change where residents age 65 and older will be a significantly larger and permanent share of the state’s population.  

HB 1100, by Reps. Steve Lebsock and Kit Roupe’ and Sens. Larry Crowder and Jessie Ulibarri, will provide stability to the senior service funds that provide older adults with options (like meals on wheels) to remain in their communities. 

HB 1242, by Reps. Jessie Danielson, Kit Roupe’ and JoAnn Windholz and Senator Irene Aguilar, also known as the Care Act, recognizes the critical role family caregivers play in keeping their loved ones out of costly institutions. HB 1242 allows patients to designate a caregiver and requires that hospitals notify the caregiver if their loved one is going to be discharged and provide instruction of any aftercare tasks, such as medication management, injections, or wound care that the family caregiver will perform at home.

SB 197, by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Rhonda Fields, allows nurse practitioners the ability to perform to their training levels in underserved and unserved communities in Colorado. 

AARP also is supporting and opposing bills focused on financial resilience in Colorado:

AARP strongly supports HB 1235, by Reps. John Buckner and Britney Pettersen and Sens. Pat Steadman and Nancy Todd, which creates the Colorado Retirement Security Task Force in the legislative branch to study, assess and report on the factors that impact Coloradans' ability to save for a financially-secure retirement. The study also would report on the feasibility of creating a retirement savings plan for private sector employees.

AARP strongly opposes SB 80 by Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Paul Lundeen. SB 80 puts all members of the Public Employees Retirement Association at risk by offering members an irrevocable option to move their retirement savings into a defined contribution plan. This greatly increases the retirement risk for members who select the option, as well as increases the risk to the benefit plan trusts. AARP also finds the fiscal note of $4.2 billion to be a huge burden to Colorado tax payers.

Standing up for Colorado utility consumers:

AARP strongly supports the work of the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) and want to see it continue its work of giving consumers a voice in utility rate hikes. The Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy committee heard the OCC sunset report on January 22, but didn’t take action. Without the OCC, Coloradans stand to see an increase of about $45 million per year in utility rate hikes. AARP wants to see a bill reauthorizing the OCC coming from the Senate soon.

Other:

AARP has opposed several bills this session, which reduce access to health care, most notably HB 1066 by Rep. Janak Joshi and HB 1163 by Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt. HB 1066 and HB 1163  died early in committee, but we remain concerned about SB 71, by Sens Owen Hill and Cheri Jahn and Reps. Langraf and McCann, which would create an unnecessary and costly extra step in prescribing and substituting biosimilars (a new classification of medication that holds great promise to bring down the price of biologics.)   

  For more information please contact:

Kelli Fritts at 303-764-5991 or Kfritts@aarp.org

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