HOUSE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by House Committee On:
Health Care & Wellness
Title: An act relating to the legislative advisory committee on aging.
Brief Description: Establishing the legislative advisory committee on aging.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Health Care (originally sponsored by Senators Bailey, Walsh, Darneille, Keiser, Palumbo and Conway).
Health Care & Wellness: 3/10/17, 3/15/17 [DP], 2/20/18, 2/21/18 [DPA].
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH CARE & WELLNESS
Majority Report: Do pass as amended. Signed by 17 members: Representatives Cody, Chair; Macri, Vice Chair; Schmick, Ranking Minority Member; Graves, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Caldier, Clibborn, DeBolt, Harris, Jinkins, MacEwen, Maycumber, Riccelli, Robinson, Rodne, Slatter, Stonier and Tharinger.
Staff: Chris Blake (786-7392).
The Council on Aging is a permanent council that advises the Governor and the Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services on policies, programs, and services affecting older persons. The Council on Aging is comprised of a member from each area agency on aging, members recommended by the Washington Association of Counties and the Association of Washington Cities, five at-large members, and four legislators who are nonvoting members.
In addition to the Council on Aging, the Legislature has established several committees related to issues of long-term care, including the Joint Legislative and Executive Task Force on Long-Term Care which issued its final report in January 2000 and the Task Force on Long-Term Care Financing and Chronic Care Management which issued its final report in January 2008.
The 2013-15 State Omnibus Operating Appropriations Act established the Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging and Disability (Committee). The Committee has been reauthorized in the subsequent two biennial operating budgets. The Committee's membership has varied over its five years, and has included a combination of legislators, executive branch representatives, and representatives from stakeholder groups.
The Committee has been assigned various responsibilities, including:
profiling Washington's older population and populations with disabilities;
inventorying services and supports for aging populations and populations with disabilities;
identifying strategies to better serve the health care needs of an aging population and populations with disabilities to promote healthy living and palliative care planning;
identifying ways to fund long-term services and supports;
promoting financial security in retirement; and
reviewing housing, land use, and transportation options for an aging community.
During the five years of its existence, the Committee has issued four reports, including its latest in December 2016. The Committee expires on July 1, 2019.
Summary of Amended Bill:
Once the current Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging and Disability (Committee) expires on July 1, 2019, the Committee is reestablished to continue meeting until July 1, 2021.
The Committee is comprised of eight legislators, as well as representatives from the Department of Social and Health Services, the Health Care Authority, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombuds, Disability Rights Washington, and other agency directors, as needed.
The Committee must review issues related to:
the health care needs of the aging population and people with disabilities;
strategies and options to create financing mechanisms for long-term services and supports;
policies to promote financial security in retirement, support people who wish to remain in the workforce, and expand the availability of workplace retirement savings plans;
the promotion of advance planning and advance care directives and the implementation of the Bree Collaborative's palliative care guidelines;
the needs of those impacted by reduced federal support;
the protection of vulnerable adults through assisted decision making, guardianship, and other vulnerable adult protections;
the promotion of client safety and methods of protecting older adults and people with disabilities from physical abuse and financial exploitation; and
assistance for communities adapting to an aging population with respect to housing, land use, and transportation.
By December 1, 2020, the Committee must submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature with policy or fiscal recommendations.
Amended Bill Compared to Second Engrossed Substitute Bill:
The amended bill eliminates the Legislative Advisory Committee on Aging consisting of eight legislators and two agency representatives to study issues related to aging populations and disabled populations, including housing, long-term care, health and wellness, transportation, malnutrition, and financial security.
The amended bill reestablishes the Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging and Disability (Committee) as of July 1, 2019, and expiring July 1, 2021. The amended bill includes the following members of the Committee: eight legislators, representatives from the Department of Social and Health Services, the Health Care Authority, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombuds, Disability Rights Washington, and other agency directors, as needed. The Committee is authorized to review issues related to health care needs, financing mechanisms for long-term services and supports, financial security in retirement, advance planning and advance care directives, ways to meet the financial needs of those impacted by reduced federal support, the protection of vulnerable adults, client safety, and assistance for communities adapting to an aging population. The Committee must submit a report by December 1, 2020.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Effective Date of Amended Bill: The bill takes effect on July 1, 2019.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) None.
(Other) The continued focus on the senior population in this bill is warranted because the age wave will raise many issues that the state needs to work through. There is concern about the makeup of the committee in the bill. The current composition of the Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging and Disability is preferred to this bill which is missing Disability Rights Washington, the Long-Term Care Ombuds, as well as the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and other agencies. The input of other committee members has been important to the functioning and the productivity of the committee. The membership from the budget proviso should be in this bill.
Persons Testifying: Melanie Smith, Washington State Long-Term Care Ombuds Program.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.