February 05, 2016
VERY IMPORTANT Survey of Senior Issues in NYS
NYSARA was approached by Paul McCarthy, Policy and Counsel for the NYS Sente Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) and Senator Klein. They have a 2016 Seniors Agenda that addresses Senior financial exploitation, protecting Seniors from unnecessary utility rate increases, Long term care insurance, Senior heating assistance program, Taking care of the caretakers initiative, Inadequate access to retirement savings options, Protection of the Senior Citizen Rent increase exemption and the Disabled Rent increase exemption (also applying to home ownership).
Mr. McCarthy said in his letter to us that:
“‘The general idea of the agenda is that, based upon our research, New York’s seniors are facing financial stresses that are difficult to cope with given the rising cost of living in New York. We want to enact a number of policies that will alleviate the financial burden on New York’s seniors and provide the population moving into retirement with more options to protect their financial assets and secure their economic futures. It is our hope that this survey will be a mandate from seniors to the NYS government to act on these policy initiatives to better provide for the aging population. As I mentioned on our call, we’re looking to put these together at the end of next week, so anything NYSARA can do to help would be immensely appreciated. We’ll be sure to provide attribution in the seniors report for NYSARA’s efforts.”
While we don’t necessarily agree with some of the solutions they propose, the fact that they have a position on SOME of the issues facing Seniors and are seeking our input is important. I was also able to raise some of our issues that were not included in the Seniors first agenda including paid family leave, so our friends and relatives can care for us or bond with a new born without fear of bankruptcy. (The IDC has had a bill in the Senate on for the last 5 years on six weeks of paid family leave). Other issues that are important to us like raising of the minimum wage to $15, the slowing down of the establishment of an office for community living ( merging SOFA and the Office for Disabilities) to insure that services are IMPROVED especially for the poor and elderly as well as Safe patient staffing in hospitals to insure quality care.
Mr. McCarthy asked that we assist them in insuring that the IDC survey has as large a response as possible so they can create a groundswell to address these very important issues. We will receive the results of this survey at the end of next week when it is tallied and NYSARA will receive attribution in the report.
We have been asked to inform our members of a survey on senior issues and encourage them to take the survey. The survey address is: www.seniorsfirstsurvey.com
Would you all please take the IDC survey and forward the link to as many people as you know and encourage them to take the survey. I took the survey and it took less than 5 minutes to complete.
Thank you for all you do.
Barry A. Kaufmann
President, NYS Alliance for Retired Americans