By Jon Bartholomew, Government Relations Director
This week at the Oregon capitol, AARP advocated on our member's behalf on a number of important issues. Some of the legislation we have supported is moving forward, but other legislation will not.
- Advance Directives modernization - this legislation is moving through the process and was moved from one committee to another this week.
- Memory Care facility standards - AARP was involved with stakeholder conversations that led to the creation of a proposal to have a task force take a deep dive into licensing and regulation of Memory Care facilities in Oregon. This bill moved from one committee to another this week, and is expected to keep moving forward.
- Housing - there are two bills that moved forward from one committee to another this week. One is a Senate bill to allow local communities to use Inclusionary Zoning rules to provide more affordable housing. The other is a House bill that includes certain protections for tenants. There is still a lot of conversation about these proposals that AARP is part of.
- Senior and Disability Transit - a bill to help rural communities pay for improved transit services has died in committee.
- Non-discrimination of family caregivers in employment - This bill died in committee this week. It would have prevented discrimination against employees or job applicants simply on the basis of caregiving responsibilities outside the workplace.
- Elder abuse - a bill to allow counties to establish "Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams" died in committee, but is expected to be revived for the 2017 session.
- Budget - We are continuing to advocate for restoration of the Gatekeeper program, funding for a position of Elder Abuse Resource Prosecutor, and to prevent any cuts in long term supports and services. While no decisions have been made yet on any of these issues, a modestly positive revenue forecast that came out this week is encouraging that we can accomplish our objectives.
Editor's Note - We are giving you weekly roundups of our work for you at the Legislature. If you visit the capitol, you may be interested in the murals painted there. Here is a link to an Oregonian story about those.
[Photo: State of Oregon]