BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                     ACR 49

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          Date of Hearing:  April 21, 2015


                                 Cheryl Brown, Chair

          ACR 49  
          (Weber) - As Introduced March 19, 2015

          SUBJECT:  California Senior Bill of Rights

          SUMMARY:  Resolves that the Legislature should support of older  
          Californians by continuing the state's commitment to them in  
          specified ways.  Specifically, this resolution:  

          Establishes or resolves that older Californians:

          1)Have worked all their lives to provide for their families,  
            build our state, and defend our nation, and thus deserve a  
            dignified, secure and independent retirement for their  

          2)The number of Californians aged 60 and older is anticipated to  
            reach 12 million by 2030.

          3)Many older Californians are living longer and working longer  
            than in past generations.

          4)Older Californians rely heavily on local, state and federal  


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            services such as Social Security, Medicare, Medi-Cal, and  
            In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), to meet their financial,  
            health and social need to be independent, safe, and to  
            maintain a dignified life.

          5)The programs and services upon which they rely today will  
            become even more important as the population expands in future  

          6)Older Californians have more to lose in times of economic  
            downturn and are subject to greater instances of poverty  
            hunger and homelessness.  

          7)Older Californians are increasingly subjected to fraud, scams,  
            exploitation and abuse which deprives them of dignity,  
            financial security, and access to quality health care.

          8)The Legislature recognizes the contributions and sacrifices  
            older people have made to the state and also recognizes the  
            threats that older people confront.

          9)The Legislature and the people of the state should today and  
            into the future, unwaveringly uphold and protect the dignity  
            and independence of older Californians by continuing the  
            state's commitment to: 

                  a.        Financial security; 

                  b.        Quality and affordable health care and  
                    long-term care; 


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                  c.        Protection from exploitation; 

                  d.        A strong economy; and, 

                  e.        Independence through safe, livable communities  
                    with adequate housing and transportation.

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Establishes the Older Americans Act (OCA) in 1965, and amended  
            most recently in 2006, in response to concern by policymakers  
            about a lack of community social services for older persons.   
            The original legislation established authority for grants to  
            States for community planning and social services, research  
            and development projects, and personnel training in the field  
            of aging.  The law also established the Administration on  
            Aging (AoA) to administer the newly created grant programs and  
            to serve as the Federal focal point on matters concerning  
            older persons.  

          2)Establishes the Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act, that  
            reflects the policy mandates and directives of the Older  
            Americans Act of 1965, as amended, and sets forth the state's  
            commitment to its older population and other populations  
            served by the programs administered by the California  
            Department of Aging.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  ACR 49 does not carry the force of law, and  
          therefore does not carry a fiscal impact.  

          Author's Statement: "I generally work on issues at the beginning  
          of life - childcare, early education, K-12.  But, as a young  


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          graduate student, I acted as a social worker in Los Angeles,  
          providing assistance low-income seniors.  This is where I became  
          sensitized to what older Californians face.  We as policy makers  
          need to recommit to finding solutions to challenges, needs and  
          imperatives of California's increasingly aging population.   
          Older Californians have worked hard all their lives to provide  
          for their families, build our state and defend our nation.   
          Accordingly, for their years of service and contribution, they  
          deserve a dignified, secure, and independent retirement.  ACR 49  
          acts as a reminder of what we owe to older Americans and, as  
          their representatives, what are obliged to work for on their  


          Background on the Older Americans Act:  Older individuals  
          receive services under many other Federal programs, though the  
          OAA is considered to be the major vehicle for the organization  
          and delivery of social and nutrition services to this group -  
          and their caregivers.  It authorizes a wide array of service  
          programs through a national network of 56 state agencies on  
          aging, 629 area agencies on aging, nearly 20,000 service  
          providers, 244 Tribal organizations, and 2 Native Hawaiian  
          organizations representing 400 Tribes.  The OAA also includes  
          community service employment for low-income older Americans;  
          training, research, and demonstration activities in the field of  
          aging; and vulnerable elder rights protection activities.  The  
          stated purpose of the OAA is to ensure equal opportunity to the  
          fair and free enjoyment of: adequate income in retirement; the  
          best possible physical and mental health services without regard  
          to economic status; suitable housing; restorative and long term  
          care; opportunity for employment; retirement in health, honor,  
          and dignity; civic, cultural, educational and recreational  
          participation and contribution; efficient community services;  
          immediate benefit from proven research knowledge; freedom,  
          independence, and the exercise of self-determination; and  
          protection against abuse neglect and exploitation.  


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          Background on the Older Californians Act (OCA):  Also so known  
          as the "Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act," the "OCA"  
          declares that older individuals constitute a fundamental  
          resource of the state that previously has been undervalued and  
          poorly utilized, and that ways must be found to enable older  
          individuals to apply their competence, wisdom, and experience  
          for the benefit of all Californians.  The act continues by  
          declaring that there is a continuing increase in the number of  
          older individuals in proportion to the total population; that  
          the social and health problems of older individuals are further  
          compounded by inaccessibility to existing services and by the  
          unavailability of a complete range of services.  The Act further  
          states that services to older individuals are administered by  
          many different agencies and departments at both the state and  
          local level, the planning and delivery of these services is not  
          carried out with any degree of coordination among those  
          agencies, and that enhanced coordination reduces duplication,  
          eliminates inefficiencies, and enhances service delivery for the  
          consumer.  The indictment of California's incomplete continuum  
          of services by declaring that the ability of the constantly  
          increasing number of aged in the state to maintain  
          self-sufficiency and personal well-being with the dignity to  
          which their years of labor entitle them and to realize their  
          maximum potential as creative and productive individuals are  
          matters of profound importance and concern for all of the people  
          of this state.  

          COMMENTS:  ACR 49 speaks to an unavoidable, robust and  
          increasingly vocal cohort of the population - the elderly (many  
          referred to as "Baby-boomers," those born between 1946 and 1964  
          and "Greatest Generation" those born before 1946), and the  
          values our society has, and continues to develop with regard to  
          them.  The human aging process is synonymous with life itself,  


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          though our perceptions of the elderly are often clouded by  
          ageism, and thus, generally, we fear growing older, and often  
          refer to those who are still "sharp" to be fortunate exceptions  
          to the "rule."  

          California last addressed the needs of an aging population in a  
          strategic way in 2003 when the Health and Human Services Agency  
          produced "Strategic Plan for an Aging California Population:  
          Getting California Ready for the 'Baby Boomers.'" At the time,  
          it was observed that programs and services geared toward the  
          aged have developed over time on an incremental basis, with  
          little strategic planning.  Demographic projections at the time  
          indicated that California's older population will explode during  
          the next three decades.  Indeed, in 2011, Baby Boomers began  
          turning 65, (two every three minutes in the state-about 1,000  
          per day), a pace that will continue for another 14 years.  This  
          highly educated segment of the population, with strong earning  
          power, is consequently being replaced by a population struggling  
          in an economy that offers less earning power.  Between 2003 and  
          2020, the over 65 population will have increased 74 percent  
          while the under 65 population will have grown by only 24  
          percent.  Just as the "Baby Boom" generation had an impact on  
          the educational system and the labor market, this large cohort  
          of 21st century elders will strain services and programs  
          designed for a 20th century elderly population.  

          The aging of the population will bring about a nationwide wave  
          of lifestyle changes, opening of new markets, and conclusions of  
          others, shifts in real estate prices, potential increases in the  
          cost of health, custodial, and long-term care, while placing  
          heavy caregiving demands on a smaller number of younger family  
          members and others available to provide support.  The enormous  
          burden of paying for services that are not planned for  
          individually will be borne by a decreasing number of workers,  


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          which underscores the prudent objectives of legislators engaged  
          in reforming today's systems of care.  In a state where every  
          5th person is "silver-haired" as opposed to the one we are  
          accustomed to today where every 9th or 10th person is  
          silver-haired, every aspect of life is likely to be transformed.  
           Housing demands may be turned upside down as elders rush to  
          smaller, more compact living quarters.  Transportation systems  
          may be transformed, driverless cars being only one aspect of the  
          transformation, as more drivers with eye-sight deficiencies  
          flock to roads and highways.  A larger cohort of vulnerable  
          people will create opportunities for unscrupulous endeavors as  
          well, and this will impact our justice system.  

          ACR 49 is a message to Legislative colleagues that the recent  
          economic downturn had a disproportionate impact upon services  
          relied upon by older people, and that their sacrifices are  
          acknowledged and honored, as the state moves forward into a new  



          California State Council of the Service Employees International  
          Union (SEIU) - Co-Sponsor

          United Long-Term Care Workers Union (SEIU-ULTCW) - Co-Sponsor


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          American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

          California Association of Public Authorities (CAPA)

          United Domestic Workers of America UDW/AFSCME Local 3930


          None on file.

          Analysis Prepared by:Robert MacLaughlin / AGING & L.T.C. / (916)