We want to take a moment to express our appreciation for all of the Virginia State Legislators for their support of AARP Virginia’s 2017 Legislative Priorities. These priorities include increasing retirement security, strengthening financial exploitation laws, supporting family caregivers, and protecting vulnerable long-term care recipients.
Please thank some or all of the legislators listed below – especially on topics that you are passionate about. The legislator(s) do not have to be in your district or region. Be sure to mention you’re an AARP Virginia member!
Increase Retirement Security
Too many Virginians can no longer expect a comfortable retirement, even after years of hard work. These workers need more options to save and build secure nest eggs. HB 2204 and SB 1076 would have established a public-private partnership to implement a program that would make it easier for employers to offer retirement savings via payroll deduction. Although this legislation did not come to a vote, we appreciate leadership of our sponsors and will continue to advocate on this issue in the future.
THANK YOU Senator Frank M. Ruff Jr. and Delegate Luke E. Torian for sponsoring this legislation.
Strengthen Financial Exploitation Laws
One of the silent crimes of the 21 st century is the financial exploitation of older adults. Victims of financial exploitation lose more than dollars; they can suffer severe emotional distress, loss of independence, and even a shortened lifespan. HB 1945 broadened the definition of “adult exploitation” to be more inclusive and removed the requirement for the victim to be “incapacitated”. After the law goes into effect those who exploit older adults are more likely to be investigated. We’re happy to announce this passed UNANIMOUSLY in both the House and Senate!
THANK YOU Delegates Christopher K. Peace, for being the Chief Sponsor of this bill; Kaye Kory, Paul E. Krizek, Brenda L. Pogge, and James M. LeMunyon for being Co-Sponsors of this bill; Christopher P. Stolle, Gordon C. Helsel Jr., Mark H. Levine, Robert B. Bell, Laschrecse D. Aird, Roxann L. Robinson, and Joseph R. Yost for giving this bill key votes in subcommittee.
Support Family Caregivers
In Virginia, family caregivers provide a total of 956 million hours of unpaid care each year, leaving them at a higher risk for stress, depression, and financial problems. Nearly three-quarters of older adults and individuals with disabilities in Virginia rely on an unpaid caregiver for assistance. HJ 680 would have established a legislative committee to study issues and challenges facing the family caregivers in Virginia. Despite the fact this legislation did not pass we are excited to continue to advocate for this issue and appreciate all the support.
THANK YOU Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn, for being the Chief Sponsor of this Resolution; Mark L. Keam, Kaye Kory , Robert G. Marshall, Michael P. Mullin, and Sam Rasoul for being Co-Sponsors of this Resolution.
Protect Vulnerable Long-Term Care Recipients
Many long-term care recipients are medically or emotionally too frail to speak up for themselves. State long-term care Ombudsmen act as the voice for these vulnerable Virginians to resolve care problems and issues of basic patient rights. We advocated for budget amendment item 333 #4s, allowing $2.1 million to be appropriated to meet the minimum staffing standard for long-term care Ombudsmen set by the General Assembly. Unfortunately, this budget amendment was not implemented. We will continue to advocate for this issue and are thankful for all the support of the sponsor and co-sponsors.
THANK YOU Senators George L. Barker, for being the Chief Sponsor; Janet D. Howell and Lionell Spruill Sr., for being Co-Sponsors for this Budget amendment.