AARP Oklahoma has announced its 2011 state legislative agenda by reaffirming its mission to fight for issues that are important to older Oklahomans.

 


AARP Oklahoma has announced its 2011 state legislative agenda by reaffirming its mission to fight for issues that are important to older Oklahomans.

 

Ardmore residents were among the members of AARP Oklahoma who met with state legislators Thursday at the state capitol to discuss their concerns and priorities for 2011.

 

Ardmoreite Barney Allen, who serves as a member of the AARP Oklahoma Volunteer Executive Council, said the association will focus on three areas during the 2011 state legislative session, including:

 

* Funding of essential services for Oklahoma’s most frail and vulnerable citizens, including expanding access to home and community-based services and funding for senior nutrition programs.

 

* Preventing any attempts to roll back regulatory oversight for long-term care facilities.

 

* Fighting for Oklahomans on utility rate increases, regulatory issues and consumer protections at the Capitol and the Corporation Commission.

 

“The Legislature will be faced with important decisions this session in these three areas,” Allen said. “AARP will work with members from both sides of the aisle, just as we did last year to restore money to senior nutrition programs, improve nursing home incentive payments, close a loop-hole in the state’s nurse-aide registry and pass a law that requires nursing homes to report rape.”

 

The association will support the following bills related to long-term care, home and community-based services and health and safety: 

 

* HB 1282 —would move “certified” nursing facility administrators, assisted living facility administrators, and “adult day center administrators under  the  Oklahoma State Board of Examiners for Long-Term Care Administrators.

 

* HB 1554 – would establish the “Options Counseling for Long-term Care Program.” The bill requires the program to provide individuals or their representatives with long-term care options in consultation by phone or in person.  
* HB 2002 — would require the availability of alternative power, such as generators, in assisted living centers that provide services to 50 or more individuals.

 

*  SB 167 — would establish a statewide “Alzheimer’s Information and Referral System” to connect persons with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers to local case management, support services and information on the disease.

 

* SB 492 —  would allow the Department of Human Services to petition the district court for an order directing local law enforcement to transport an incapacitated person or vulnerable adult suffering from abuse, neglect, self-neglect, financial neglect or exploitation for care, treatment and residential placement.

 

* HB 2135 —would allow local communities to pass ordinances regarding smoking.

 

* HB 1316  and SB 146 — which would make it a crime to send or read text messages while driving.

 

Information about Oklahoma AARP is available online at www.aarp.org/ok.