Volunteer advocates testify in support of Nurse Licensure Compact and Housing Choice bills
AARP Massachusetts volunteer Executive Council member and registered nurse Deborah Washington offered testimony in front of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure in support of Senate Bill No. 103 - An Act Relative to Nurse Licensure Compact. Below is her testimony from May 14, 2019:
"AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. On behalf of the nearly 38 million members nationwide and 800,000 members here in the Commonwealth, thank you for the opportunity to speak today. I am here today to urge you to favorably pass Senate Bill No. 103, An Act Relative to Nurse Licensure Compact. This bill, which allows nurses to practice across state lines, will create an expedited and less administratively burdensome process for nurses seeking licensure in multiple states.
According to estimates from the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, the number of adults 60 and over in Massachusetts will soon eclipse the under-20 age cohort for the first time in recorded history. By the next Census in 2020, the 60-plus group will comprise 24 percent of the population. And the aging population of Massachusetts will continue to grow along with its unique issues related to the workforce, financial, health and long term care needs.
In recent years, AARP has focused more attention and resources to help family caregivers. In Massachusetts alone, there are 844,000 family caregivers, providing help and support to a loved one who wants to remain in their home and community. Registered nurses are vital to these family caregivers. They provide high-quality primary, acute and specialty health care services. AARP strongly supports states adopting reciprocal licensure standards or interstate reciprocity compacts for nurses.
Both planning and action by the Commonwealth are required to make our society work well on behalf of all its residents – those needing care and those providing it. AARP urges the Committee to take one step forward to do so and favorably pass this important bill.
We look forward to working with you and would be happy to assist you in any way possible on these important issues. Thank you."
AARP Massachusetts volunteer State President Sandra Harris offered testimony in front of the Joint Committee on Housing in support of House Bill No. 3507 - An Act to Promote Housing Choices.
Below is her testimony from May 14, 2019:
"Good morning. I am Sandra Harris, state president of AARP Massachusetts. AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. As the lead volunteer for AARP Massachusetts and on behalf of the nearly 38 million members nationwide and 800,000 members here in the Commonwealth, thank you for the opportunity to speak today.
I am here today to support House Bill No. 3507, An Act to Promote Housing Choices.
Advocacy for affordable, accessible, and a variety of housing options for people age 50 and older is a tenet of AARP’s core mission. These principles are important to our members. These are also the principles of the Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities.
AARP’s Age Friendly Network asks for commitment from state elected leadership to work actively toward making the state a great place to live for people of all ages. In 2018, AARP officially welcomed Massachusetts into the AARP network of Age-Friendly States and the World Health Organization Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities. At that time, Massachusetts became the second state in the nation to join the network with 35 communities already members. Now, we have 53 communities as members of the Network.
As AARP guides these communities through the age-friendly process, we are validating research that shows the vast majority of people age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible. This is not unique to the Commonwealth and is consistent with national data.
AARP works to promote housing that enables people to live safely, comfortably and independently. AARP encourages communities to provide housing options and develop homes that are accessible to residents and guests of all ages and abilities. Smart, age friendly homes are great places for people of all ages.
To successfully respond to the demands of housing shortages, an increasingly aging population, and to become truly age-friendly, the Commonwealth must have the flexibility, opportunity and incentives to provide new and innovative housing choices. It is time to remove the barriers that stifle new housing models, like accessory dwelling units.
Note – just last week AARP released a new report, The ABCs of ADUs, demonstrating how they expand housing options for people of all ages.
The Housing Choice bill allows for the development of new housing models, promotes accessory dwellings, and encourages construction in areas and neighborhoods that have accessible resources.
We urge swift passage of House Bill No. 3507 and look forward to the benefits that the Housing Choice bill will provide communities and residents. We stand ready to work with you on these important issues. Thank you. "