Seniors meet in Sacramento to press legislation on seniors

For one week each year, 40 senior senators and 80 senior assembly representatives elected from their districts throughout California convene in Sacramento at the state Capitol for the California Senior Legislature.

From dawn until dusk, they discuss and debate their recommendations for proposed legislation affecting California’s senior population.

Los Osos resident Gari Cave attended her first session as senior assemblywoman in October. Once voting was completed, CSL members had their marching orders. Cave’s quest until October will be to speak to groups and constituents advocating the Senior Legislature’s recommended legislation for 2014.

In speaking recently to the Rotary Club of Morro Bay, Cave called the week in Sacramento exciting and said she’s on the health committee, one of five legislative boards. 

“The mission of the California Senior Legislature, which was established by state law, is to help preserve and enhance the quality of life for older Californians and their families,” she said. “Each year, the CSL votes on the top 10 California legislative priorities and the top four federal legislative priorities.”

Past sessions, Cave said, have recommended legislation that has improved Alzheimer’s disease programs and treatment; care provided in long-term care facilities; and consumer protections to prevent elder abuse, identity theft, gender discrimination;

mobile-home ownership; and reverse mortgage fraud.

However, Cave was concerned that CSL’s cost-effective, efficiently operated legislative program may end in 2014 if California taxpayers are not aware that they should designate at least $1 to support it by checking Code 402 on Side 2 of the California tax form.

Revenues pay for accommodations during the Sacramento session. All other activities and meetings attended during the year are voluntary.

Among the proposals, Cave said, are: AP-46, which would safeguard patients by requiring that health care providers and pharmacists provide appropriate prescription labeling on refill medications; SP-2, which would give seniors 65 or older an additional $20,000 exemption on the full value of a primary residence; AP-10, which would require that all senior independent living facilities have at least one staff member trained in basic emergency treatment; SP-19, which would require that all public staircases to be equipped with handrails; and AFP-2, which would require that all prescriptions contain a notice on the label noting the purpose for which the drug is being prescribed.

Cave said San Luis Obispo’s Senior Sen. Alice Loh was elected as Joint Rules Committee chairwoman.

For more information, call the Sacramento Office at 916-552-8056 or email senior legislator Gari Cave at garicave@gmail.com.