Friday, December 19, 2014

Silver Hair Legislature wraps with bills targeting older Kansans’ top issues

Special to The Ottawa Herald | 10/5/2012

TOPEKA — The 30th annual Kansas Silver Haired Legislature wrapped Thursday with the body’s 60 representatives voting on a wide range of issues, from predatory payday loans to fingerprinting nursing home worker applicants.

The Silver Haired Legislature is a group of Kansans 60 and older who are elected by their peers to develop bills and resolutions that are of interest to the state’s older adults and their families. They work with members of the Kansas Legislature to get their proposed legislation introduced and debated as bills in the state Legislature.

Among the legislation passed:

• A resolution urging the Kansas Legislature to provide additional funding for the Home and Community Based Services/Frail Elderly (HCBS/FE) Waiver to provide older adults with all needed dental health services. (Beginning January of 2013, KanCare will provide Medicaid patients with preventive care.)

• A resolution urging the Kansas Legislature to continue supporting the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s “Kansans Optimizing Health Program,” an interactive program in which people with a number of chronic conditions come together to learn and practice new skills to manage their conditions.

• A resolution urging the Kansas Legislature to enact legislation during the 2013 session to help combat predatory payday lending practices, and to enact similar legislation to regulate or prohibit Income Tax Refund Advance lending practices that adversely affect older adults and other residents of Kansas.

• An act concerning insurance, relating to the mandatory reinstatement of certain insurance policies in case of mental incapacity of an insured; life insurance; long-term care insurance; preexisting conditions, dementia diagnosis. (If there is a lapse in insurance premiums paid due to dementia, this would allow for reinstatement of the policy.)

• A resolution urging Congress to reauthorize and increase funding for the Older Americans Act.

• An act concerning property taxation, imposing a payment in lieu of tax on certain qualifying crude oil pipelines, procedures. (Qualifying pipeline property currently exempted from property taxation would pay a payment in lieu of tax in the amount of 3 percent of the qualified investment.)

• An act concerning postsecondary educational institutions, relating to fingerprinting and criminal history record check of nursing program applicants. (Nursing program applicants would be required to be fingerprinted and have a background check and would not be admitted if they have certain felony convictions.)

• An act concerning the Coordinated Public Transportation Assistance Act, relating to eligibility of applicants for assistance to transportation systems.

• An act amending the uniform consumer credit code, relating to payday loans — amending  K.S.A. 16a-2-404 and repealing the existing section, which would prevent a borrower from having more than two outstanding loans with any lender.

• A resolution urging the Kansas Legislature to call upon U.S. Congress to support funding for the U.S. Postal Service to ensure that senior residents in rural Kansas have continued access to operating community post offices.

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