For Immediate Release
December 22, 2015

Contacts:
Jason Erskine / 206-517-9345
Cathy MacCaul / 206-218-5915

Four Washington State Legislators Make List of “Super Savers” and “Capitol Caregivers”
AARP Honors State Elected Officials for Supporting Family Caregivers and Helping Washingtonians Save for Retirement

Washington – Every day, AARP fights for Washingtonians, focused on the issues they face in their daily lives.  This work depends on the state legislators, governors and other elected officials who write, support and move legislation; who work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get things done; and who come together to pass those critical votes that turn bills into law.

To honor these leaders, AARP announces the second bipartisan class of “Capitol Caregivers,” those elected officials who have fought to bring more support to family caregivers and their loved ones, and the inaugural class of “Super Savers,” those who have fought to help Americans retire with confidence.

Super Savers
To recognize the state elected officials who were integral to the passage of historic legislation to help Americans retire with confidence, AARP has announced the inaugural class of 2015 “Super Savers.” This class includes six state legislators and two state Treasurers in three states who helped their residents save for the future.

“AARP thanks Senator Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) and Representative Larry Springer (D-Kirkland) for championing the Washington Small Business Retirement Marketplace this year,” says Cathy MacCaul, Advocacy Director for AARP which serves more than 940,000 members age 50 and older in Washington.  “Their support provided key leadership to pass the measure this year and help 1.5 million Washingtonians save for their future.”

The Small Business Retirement Marketplace (SB 5826) will offer employers with fewer than 100 employees an easy to use retirement plan tool. Employees can automatically save a portion of their paycheck in a conservatively managed IRA or other savings plan, can increase or decrease their contributions at any time, and accounts would be portable as workers move from job to job. Employers who choose to participate can also choose to match up to 3% of employee contributions.

“Everyone should be able to reach their retirement years with enough savings to live with dignity,” said Representative Springer.  “Unfortunately too few young workers begin saving during their early working years and often must depend on government assistance to get by.  I want to thank AARP for bringing this issue to light and helping us pass legislation to address the problem.  It will pay dividends for years to come,” he said.

Capitol Caregivers
To recognize their work to support healthcare providers in Washington, AARP also names Senator Karen Keiser (D-Kent) and Representative Eileen Cody (D-West Seattle) as 2016 “Capitol Caregivers,” a bipartisan group of state legislators, lieutenant governors, and governors from 25 states.  These elected officials have advanced policies to help healthcare providers and family caregivers who are making it possible for older Washingtonians to live independently at home—where they want to be.

“AARP thanks Senator Keiser and Representative Cody for championing the ‘Nurse Scope of Practice’ bill (HB 1259) this year,” says MacCaul. “They provided integral leadership to pass the measure this year, and to help nurses take on a greater role in the increasingly complex healthcare system which fosters more patient-centered healthcare practices.”

The bill will help cut through the red tape and allow advance practice registered nurses to have the full authority to heal, which is especially important for older patients who receive care at home.

“I am truly honored to have been selected as an AARP 2015 Capitol Caregiver,” said Senator Keiser. “As someone who has prioritized senior issues for some time, I understand the need to ensure that all seniors can age with dignity and have access to quality care.”

“When a nurse is trying to help a patient heal, bureaucracy just gets in the way,” said Representative Cody.  “As a practicing nurse, I know that patients need us to be able to do our job without letting unnecessary rules slow us down. I’m proud to have sponsored common sense legislation that helps patients get better.”

“Family caregivers are the back bone of Washington’s care system, and they need our support,” says MacCaul.  “The Nurse Scope of Practice Bill is just a first step to providing assistance to care providers.  AARP will continue to fight for Washington’s family caregivers and their loved ones during the upcoming 2016 legislative session by supporting passage of the CARE Act.”

The “Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act,” will help family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital, requiring hospitals to record the caregiver’s name in the patient’s medical record, notify the caregiver before the patient is discharged, and instruct the caregiver on any medical tasks they will need to perform once their loved one returns home.

For more information on AARP Washington’s 2016 Legislative priorities, visit www.aarp.org/wa

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