Lincoln, Neb. — Ensuring that Nebraska’s rapidly growing 65-plus population is able to find the right care at the right time tops the list of issues that AARP will champion during the 2018 legislative session.
LB 1004, sponsored by Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln, sets up a permanent Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at locations across the state. The one-stop information and assistance centers were first launched as a demonstration project in 2015 to connect older and disabled Nebraskans and family caregivers with the supports and services they need.
“The realization that you or someone you love will need additional services or supports to stay in the community can feel overwhelming. Many people don’t know what services are available or where to turn for help,” said Dave Holmquist, state president of AARP Nebraska.
The ADRCs help people find the right service at the right time so they can stay in their homes and communities and avoid more costly institutional care at taxpayer expense. The number of Nebraskans age 65 and over is projected to increase by nearly 32 percent from 2010 to 2020, with higher expected growth in the age 85-plus group.
In addition, AARP supports passage of the following bills to ease the tax burden on retirees, provide paid leave to employed family caregivers and expand eligibility for food assistance to Nebraskans in need.
- LB 738 annually adjusts Nebraska’s taxation of Social Security benefits for inflation. “Without these annual adjustments, retirees are able to keep less and less of their hard-earned money. Rising costs for health care, utilities and other basic necessities like groceries and medications are increasing for older Nebraskans,” Holmquist said.
Nearly half of Nebraska’s 330,309 Social Security beneficiaries rely on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their income.
- LB 844 requires employers to provide 40 hours of paid sick or safe leave per year to full-time employees. Forty-three percent of Nebraska workers do not have access to paid sick leave to take care of themselves or a family member.
- LB 770 raises the income limits for low-income Nebraskans to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Of the 176,000 Nebraskans who received SNAP benefits last year, 29 percent were elderly or had disabilities.
Other priority bills that AARP endorses include LB 439, to remove the barrier preventing assisted living nurses from providing care within their scope of practice; LB 194, to cap interest rates on predatory payday loans; and LB 757, to eliminate fees for consumers to place or lift a security freeze on their personal information.
The association also supports LR 281CA, a proposed constitutional amendment extending Medicaid health care coverage to uninsured, low-income Nebraskans under age 65.
For more information regarding AARP’s positions on state legislation, contact Jina Ragland at 1-866-389-5651 toll free or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To receive timely legislative updates and alerts from AARP Nebraska, visit www.aarp.org/getinvolved.