During the last two weeks, AARP Kansas weighed in on several important bills that impact our members and Kansans who are 50 and older.
On Thursday, February 6, AARP Kansas lead advocacy volunteer David Wilson testified in opposition to Senate Bill 311 which would gradually increase the current cap for non-economic damages compensation in medical malpractice lawsuits from $250,000 to $350,000. AARP does not support any caps on non-economic damages or proposals that would impair the right of injured patients to full and just compensation for injuries resulting from inappropriate medical care. In addition, AARP does not support malpractice reform proposals that do not reduce medical errors.
On Tuesday, February 11, AARP Kansas Director Maren Turner testified in support of Senate Bill 308, a bill that would amend the state’s Do Not Call statute to include registration of mobile phone or cell numbers. While federal law allows for any telephone number, whether it is a home or mobile number, to be listed on a national database, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, AARP Kansas and others want to make sure that, through this legislation, Kansas law specifically allows for mobile numbers to be included on the existing Kansas No-Call Registry. With certain exceptions, telemarketers are prohibited from contacting people whose phone numbers are included on the No-Call Registry.
On Wednesday, February 12, AARP Kansas submitted testimony in support of House Bill 2539 which would provide a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) retirees. A cost of living adjustment is a change in one’s monthly retirement benefit to account for increasing prices. The approximately 81,000 Kansas retirees in the KPERS retirement system have not had a cost-of-living increase for 15 years.
Also on Wednesday, February 12, AARP Kansas provided testimony in support of Senate Bill 354 which would expand the crime of mistreatment of dependent adults by adding “elder persons.” Mistreatment of elder persons or dependent adults would be amended to include wrongfully taking the personal property or financial resources of an elder person or dependent adult.
In addition, AARP Kansas supports Senate Bill 355 which would modify the Kansas Power of Attorney Act to add definitions and clarify the duties of the Attorney in Fact (AIF). Senate Bill 355 would add requirements that must be met in order for a power of attorney (POA) to remain effective if the principal (person) becomes partially or totally disabled or if there is uncertainty about whether the principal is dead or alive.
Check back each week to find out what issues AARP Kansas is working on in the Kansas Legislature.