Who remembers the lessons learned in the Schoolhouse Rock segment, “I’m Just a Bill?”. Believe it or not, it’s a fairly accurate representation of how bills become laws in the Indiana General Assembly.
As legislators near the committee deadline for the first-half of the legislative session, there are a number of bills moving forward that impact older adults and persons with disabilities, and their families and caregivers. Some of the promising proposals in the 2017 Indiana General Assembly for which IAAAA has provided supportive testimony include:
- Expansion of the state CHOICE program pilot statewide. (HB 1287)
- Home modifications for persons with disabilities. (SB 485)
- Ongoing study of reforms required in Indiana’s APS system. (SB 345)
- An increase in the amount of reimbursement available to guardians of certain protected persons. (SB 396)
- Additional tools for financial services professionals to report suspected exploitation of vulnerable adults. (HB 1526)
Top priority for IAAAA has been HB 1287, which seeks to modernize the CHOICE program. Administered by Indiana’s Area Agency on Agencies (AAAs), CHOICE provides resources for qualified older adults and people with disabilities that help them live and age in their own homes with safety and dignity. Building on a successful pilot program among four AAAs, HB 1287 will give AAAs statewide more flexibility in the kinds of people they can help people with CHOICE funds, target assessment around the specific unmet needs of individuals and require that caregivers’ needs be assessed along with those of the individual. HB 1287 has passed the House of Representatives and has been referred to the Senate for consideration. We urge your support!