A huge thank you to our sponsors SEIU-LTCW, CSEA-Retirees and AARP.
For additional information, please contact the CSL office at (916) 552-8056.
Big Changes to How CSL Does Business
Submitted by Lauren Rolfe, JRC Chair
The California Senior Legislature (CSL) has had a rough year with regard to donations. "After working successfully to remain on the California Tax Check Off list under a more specific name last year, California Senior Legislature fund, it seems our usual generous donors are having trouble finding us. Donations are significantly down compared to previous years. The change was finalized in late 2014 and the members just did not have time to contact enough potential donors to advise them of the change before the tax season began." Says Lauren Rolfe, Chair of the Joint Rules Committee (JRC- Executive arm of the CSL).
The Tax Check off fund is the major provider of funding for CSL's activities in advocating for senior supporting legislation. When the donations started off poorly, CSL's JRC acted quickly to reduce spending for the current and upcoming year. Unfortunately, the organization's biggest expense outside of the single staff person is the Annual Session at the Capitol. A final decision was made to not have a session at the Capitol this year in order to allow time to rebuild the donor base.
"We want to preserve our purpose, however, so we devised a combination Mail-in/Telephone Conference method of establishing priority bills this year." explained By-Law Chair Ellie Bloch. By using a less expensive method to identify our usual top 10 priority bills the CSL can continue its mission of successful legislative advocacy. Our Legislative Committee will still be active at the Capitol and in their districts advocating for those priorities.
The CSL has been working for two years to identify additional methods of raising funds. Early this year a "Friends of CSL" program was launched. It is early in its activities but it looks like it will be a good addition to our fundraising package. Additionally, there have been efforts to do traditional fund raising through requests of foundations and large companies. Happily the Napa /Solano District Office of AT&T has donated funds to cover the mailing portion of the legislative session this year.
As disappointing as this temporary change is, it will preserve this 35 year old organization to continue working to make California a truly senior friendly state.
Do You Want to Make A Difference in the Lives of
The California Senior Legislature (CSL) is seeking Friends of CSL (FoCSL) Members throughout the State. Friends of CSL will help the CSL in its efforts to:
Provide Input on Issues Affecting Seniors that need addressed through Legislation
Promote and Support Legislative Proposals drafted by CSL
Educate other Seniors about the Accomplishments of the CSL
Participate in Rally Days and Other Advocacy Opportunities
Our FoCSL membership campaign is off and running this year. However, our goal this year is 7,500 members by the end of December. For our first three months we have almost 100 members. As you can see, we have some work to do to increase our membership and awareness.
Three of our PSA's have done a great job in promoting FoCSL membership. A big "thank you" to PSA 22 (Orange County), 17 (San Luis Obispo County) and 19n (Los Angeles County) - keep up the great work! We need to raise awareness across the State and have strong representation and advocacy for Seniors wide spread.
All membership fees support the advocacy work of the California Senior Legislature. These fees help maintain a strong voice at the State Capitol for seniors across the Golden State!
We have a robust goal of 25,000 Friends of CSL members by 2020! Help us meet this goal, raise awareness of the CSL and spread awareness throughout the State. We must be ready for the Silver Tsunami!
The California Senior Legislature has been successful in getting nine (9) bills authored. Congratulations to the CSL authors: M. White, D. Kammerer, R. Shontz, S. Walker, C. Molnar, K. Ryan, J. Murphy, M. Gould and L. Young. To date, the bills are still moving through their legislative committees.
Nonprobate Transfers: Revocable Transfer on Death DeedsCreates the revocable transfer on death deed which would transfer real property on the death of its owner without a probate proceeding.
Identity Theft: Seniors: Enhancements Provides an enhanced sentence of imprisonment for a felony conviction when the victim was 65 years of age or older.
Developmental Services Requires the State Department of Developmental Services and State Department of Aging to develop guidelines and protocols establishing best practices for providing services and supports to aging consumers with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Emergency Services: Silver Alerts Relates to a report of a missing person who is 65 years of age or older, developmentally disabled, or cognitively impaired. Authorizes the Silver Alert to be made by changeable message sign.
Pharmacy Makes non-substantive changes to the Pharmacy Law that requires an oral or an electronic data transmission prescription to include a legible notice of drug purpose.
Long-Term Care: Home Upkeep Allowance To increasethe personal allowance of Medi-Cal clients.
California Task Force on Family Care-giving Establishes the California Task Force on Family Care-giving, to collaborate with a broad range of stakeholders, and make legislative recommendations regarding the development of an Internet Website containing resources for caregivers.
Wolk and Monning
End of Life Enacts the End of Life Option Act. Authorizes an adult who meets certain qualifications, determined by the attending physician to be suffering from a terminal illness to make a request for medication prescribed for the purpose of ending his or her life.
Personal Income Taxes: Military Retirement Pay Excludes military pay and survivor benefits from taxation.
The Legislative Committee has been diligently working to remain current on the status of our bills, assisting legislative staff and authors where necessary, scheduling members for hearing testimony, and reviewing requests to support other's bills-of which there have been many. Letters of support for these bills are still needed.
Looking ahead to next year' proposals: We are expecting many great proposals to be submitted for this coming year. Things are changing rapidly in the aging community and in the local Public Service Areas in the areas of program resources or lack thereof, IHHS, Coordinated (Managed) Care activities, the ability to keep up with nursing home and residential care monitoring. Changes are occurring, but the one constant, the issue that remains, is growing Senior Poverty.
When the committee met with Legislators in January and February, many told us that senior issues "were not on their priority" lists of bills to introduce. We were quick to point out the fact that they had numerous senior voters in their districts. Partners and other stakeholders can be very helpful in reinforcing that reality. Perhaps a project could be developed and we can all work toward getting more legislative interest in reducing Senior Poverty.
CSL is working and willing to join with others in trying to find legislative means in which Senior Poverty can be mitigated. The evidence is noted in five of the nine bills that CSL sponsored will affect senior poverty positively in some way. We are encouraging all CSL members to focus on ideas and proposals that will mitigate this problem for seniors in our state. Poverty is non-partisan and becomes a reality as a result of a dramatic health occurrence no matter how well one has planned and saved for retirement.
The evidence of growing senior poverty is noted in a background paper, issued by Assembly Member Cheryl Brown for a hearing at the Capitol, entitled "Who Can Afford to Get Old? Senior Poverty in the Golden State". According to this report: "Using the Supplemental Poverty Rate as a standard, California rates the highest in the nation for poverty for persons 60+." "Nearly one in ten Californians over age 65 live in poverty. Over 20% of older Californians could not afford to put food on the table, or had to forego other basic needs in order to eat in 2009."
Did you File An Extension for your Taxes? If so, Please Support the CSL by Checking the
California Senior Legislature Fund
on Your California Income Tax Form 540
The California Senior Legislature is funded by donations. The organization does not receive any funding from the State General Fund. The CSL is one of the voluntary contribution organizations listed on the State Tax form. Voluntary tax check-off donations are the primary source of funding for the CSL.
Beginning with the 2014 tax return, the CSL's fund name has changed to THE CALIFORNIA SENIOR LEGISLATURE FUND (Line 427).
Donations to support the California Senior Legislature's advocacy efforts on behalf of California's aging population are more important than ever. When you file your tax return, we urge you to donate to the CALIFORNIA SENIOR LEGISLATURE FUND.