Greetings! I want to update you on a few important legislative issues.
In a recent column I wrote about the absence of licensure requirements for assisted living facilities and home care. You may remember I directed you to the Elder Voice Family Advocates website (https://www.eldervoicefamilyadvocates.org). You can find numerous stories regarding the need for this legislation on their website by clicking “News”.
Currently there are two bills before the Minnesota Legislature addressing this issue. In the House it is House File 90 (HF 90) and in the Senate it is Senate File 8 (SF 8). Representative Lynn Carlson reports HF 90 is before the Ways and Means Committee, which he chairs, and also before the Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Representative Tina Liebling. In the Senate, SF 8 is currently before the Finance Committee Chaired by Senator Julie Rosen. If you feel as we do that this is critical legislation to protect vulnerable citizens, I urge you to write the chair(s) of the Committee(s), your State Senator and State Representative requesting they support and pass the legislation and send it to Governor Walz for his signature.
Governor Walz has already proposed “…a dramatic expansion of the state’s powers to fight abuse and neglect of elderly and frail Minnesotans who live in care facilities across the state.” (http://www.startribune.com/walz-proposes-tougher-oversight-of-minnesota-facilities-for-vulnerable-adults/506185012/)
At the national level the Lymphedema Treatment Act (LTA) has been reintroduced in both houses of Congress. The Retiree Council has voted by resolution at our state convention in Duluth (2016) to support the LTA. In the 115th Congress it was the highest rated healthcare legislation with 446 cosponsors out of 537 Congressional members. Because there was only a continuing resolution for the budget, LTA was not included in an omnibus budget bill and is required to start anew with the 116th Congress.
All ten of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation were cosponsors in the 115th Congress. Starting over in the 116th requires a new effort to request their co-sponsorship. You can find information on the Lymphedema Treatment Act here: https://lymphedematreatmentact.org/ . Both Senators Klobuchar and Smith are cosponsors, and Representative McCollum is on the House bill. If you’d like to help, please contact your Representative to either thank them for cosponsoring or to ask them to add their name and vote for this much needed legislation. The bill numbers are S-598 in the Senate where Senator Cantwell in the author; and, H.R. 1948 in the House where Representative Schakowski is the author. Thanking you in advance for your assistance.
Ken McInnis, President