Annual Meeting of the Older Iowans Legislature

Volunteers advocating for older Iowans from the Heritage Area Agency on Aging region

The Older Iowans Legislature met in legislative session in the House Chamber of the Iowa Capitol on Monday September 29 and Tuesday September 30.  The annual meeting of the Older Iowans Legislature was convened on Tuesday September 30 after the adjournment of the legislative session.

Seventeen (17) bills were debated by the Older Iowans Legislature, first in committees on Monday September 29 and then on the House floor on Tuesday September 30. Bills that were enacted on the House floor on Tuesday were prioritized by each of the Representatives.

The Older Iowans Legislature will submit the PRIORITY BILLS to the Iowa General Assembly in January 2015 and ask that they be introduced as Senate Files and House Files for debate and, hopefully, enactment as law during their 2015 session.

Priority Bills Enacted by 2014 Older Iowans Legislature

On September 30, 2014 the Older Iowans Legislature enacted the following Priority Bills, which will be submitted to the Iowa General Assembly in January 2015:

ELDER ABUSE: This bill recommends that the Iowa General Assembly 1) adopt the three civil protective orders provisions in the “Agency Collaboration and Report” August 15, 2014 as recommended by the Attorney General’s Office, and 2) expand the current Iowa Elder Abuse Law.

SEX OFFENDERS IN NURSING HOMES: This bill asks the Iowa General Assembly to establish a Task Force to address the problems of sex offenders living in nursing facilities and to make recommendations about controlling the sex offenders and protecting the other residents of the nursing facilities.

LEGISLATIVE LONG-TERM CARE COMMISSION: This bill establishes Legislative Long-Term Care Commission. It outlines its duties and membership.

ELIMINATE INSTITUTIONAL BIAS OF IOWA’S LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM: This bill calls on the Iowa Department of Human Services to take such action as is needed to eliminate the institutional bias of Iowa’s long-term care system and come into full compliance with the Olmstead Act and calls on the Governor to issue a new updated Executive Order.

ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT OF OLDER IOWANS: This bill establishes evidence-based depression screening and treatment programs in each Iowa Area Agency on Aging.

OMNIBUS FUNDING BILL: This bill would continue basic funding for the programs of the Department on Aging while adding a modest increase for cost of living and also increase funding to Long-Term Care Ombudsman and Office of Substitute Decision Maker to meet needs of those offices.

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