Legislative Priorities

Maine Council on Aging
128th Maine Legislative Priorities

The Maine Council on Aging is supporting policy proposals for the 128th Legislature that address the most pressing challenges facing older Mainers including the following:

  • Access to safe, affordable housing
  • Access to affordable home repair
  • Access to quality home & health care due to workforce shortages across settings
  • Access to reliable transportation
  • Food insecurity
  • Availability of caregiver supports & services
  • Poverty

Housing

  • New $50 million general obligation bond for affordable senior housing, $10 million of which is reserved for home repair and modifications, both for low-income senior homeowners and for existing senior housing facilities
    Sponsor: Senator Volk. Organizational lead: Maine Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC)
  • Release $15 million affordable senior housing bond approved by voters overwhelmingly in 2015 ($500,000 of which is reserved for home repair for low-income senior homeowners)
    Sponsor: Senator Katz. Lead: MAHC

Direct Care Workforce

  • Comprehensive proposal to address shortages of direct care workers: increase MaineCare rates for 2018 per DHHS rate study for direct care workers across the spectrum of care for older adults; increase rates in 2019 for personal care services; increase rates for long term care providers including adult family care, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day and homemaker services; establish a Commission to study long term care work force issues including work force development and incentive strategies.
    Sponsor: Senator Jackson. Lead: Home Care Alliance; Maine Health Care Association

Family Caregivers

  • Caregiver tax credit to relieve the cost burden many caregivers take on to assist family members. Qualified expenses may include out-of-pocket costs for services and supports such as transportation, home modifications, assistive technology, and other necessities.
    Sponsor: Senator Paul Davis. Lead: AARP
  • Increased access to paid leave for working caregivers of older adults.
    Sponsor: Representative Erin Herbig. Lead: Maine Center for Economic Policy; Maine Women’s Lobby

Transportation

  • Increased funding for public transportation to meet the recommendations of the DOT Transit Strategic Plan ($14 million increase). Invest in support for volunteer driver networks, a voucher program for older adults and people with disabilities, and expand services through existing regional transportation providers.
    Sponsor: Representative McLean. Lead: Maine Community Action Association

If your organization seeks MCOA’s support on a bill, please download the MCOA 2017 Legislation Involvement Request Form, fill it out, and email info@mainecouncilonaging.org. MCOA needs at least 2 weeks notice to make a decision about whether/how to engage on such issues. We will notify you as quickly as possible once a decision is made. Thanks!

Past Successes

MCOA is proud to have a substantial record of success. We invite you to read about the impact we’ve made in recent history!

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