AARP Rhode Island gears up for the upcoming legislative session by hosting a legislative session with a State House reception where its members can meet with lawmakers and advocate for legislation that could improve the lives of older Rhode Islanders.
According to AARP Rhode Island, staff and volunteers who are State House regulars will be encouraging legislators “to support the state’s 134,000 caregivers, to build livable communities and to protect financial security for all.”
Scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31, the reception begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Capitol State Room.
Free parking is available at the AARP office, 10 Orms St., Providence. Round-trip transportation for this event is available beginning at 3 p.m.
Looking Back at the 2018 Session
AARP Rhode Island, the Senior Agenda Coalition of Rhode Island, representing 26 Rhode Island aging groups and the state’s Division of Elderly Affairs, were successful during last year’s legislative session in funding programs and services for Rhode Island seniors.
Rhode Island lawmakers passed and Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law the state’s $9.572 billion budget.
Rhode Island seniors also benefited from the 2018/2019 budget passed on June 21. Law makers eliminated several proposed cuts to social services. They restored the $18 million proposed cut to programs that serve the intellectually or developmentally disabled, and eliminated $9.9 million in new copays for Medicaid enrollees for services like prescriptions and non-emergency use of emergency departments. They also restored a $15.7 million cut to Medicaid disproportionate care, which reimburses hospitals that provide greater amounts of uncompensated care to low-income patients.
The budget bill also reflected a settlement reached last week over reimbursement rates to nursing homes. With the settlement, there is a 1.5-percent base adjustment effective July 1, 2018, and a 1-percent increase Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that will begin Oct. 1. This means the nursing homes will be receiving a total of 2.5 percent above the current rates by Oct. 1. This translates to approximately $9 million in additional funding, half of which comes from the state’s General Fund, the other half from a federal match.
Finally, the budget also included a program to commit $400,000 to establishing a community senior services grant program for senior centers and programs.
Along with the State budget, 183 bills were signed into law by Raimondo.
One newly passed bill,(S 2562/H7604), sponsored by Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne and Rep. Mia A. Ackerman, prohibits consumer reporting agencies from charging consumers a fee for a credit freeze.
To attend AARP’s legislative reception, registration is required at aarp.cvent.com/RILeg19 or call 877-926-8300.