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2024 Legislative Bills and Budget Requests Related to the Master Plan for Aging

In January 2021, Governor Newsom released California’s Master Plan for Aging (MPA), which lays out a ten-year plan to prepare the state for an aging and changing population. The MPA set five major goals: Housing for All Ages and Stages; Health Reimagined; Inclusion & Equity, Not Isolation; Caregiving that Works; and Affording Aging.

Despite the current uncertain fiscal climate, the Legislature and Administration continue to have the opportunity to partner together to create a state where older adults and people with disabilities can age in place and live with dignity. The list below highlights some of the bills that have been introduced in 2023-2024 legislative session that would directly affect older adults and people with disabilities and advance the MPA. In addition to this year’s legislative efforts, stakeholders have submitted additional budget proposals for consideration that augment the Governor’s initial budget proposals.

Justice in Aging compiled this summary of 2023-24 legislative bills and budget requests. Sponsors are listed when known. Questions and additions, including to sponsors, can be referred to Yasmin Peled at ypeled@justiceinaging.org. Inclusion on this list does not indicate endorsement by Justice in Aging.

Goal 1: Housing for All Ages and Stages

Bills:

  • AB 1933 (Kalra): Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly
    • California Commission on Aging
    • This bill would amend the California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) Act to expand the number of individuals they serve by replacing the six-bed cap with a “ten or fewer cap” while still being considered for residential use in the California code.
  • SB 37 (Caballero): Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities Housing Stability Act
    • Justice in Aging, Corporation for Supportive Housing, LeadingAge California, State Council on Developmental Disabilities, United Way of Greater LA
    • This bill would create rental stabilization subsidies that would enable thousands of older adults and people with disabilities annually to access or keep their housing. The subsidies would be made available to severely low-income Californians who are experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness.
  • SB 1406 (Allen): RCFE Rate Increases
    • California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
    • This bill clarifies that residents of RCFEs have the right to request, refuse, or terminate services. Residents are often forced to pay add-on charges for services they do not need and are led to believe they may not refuse.

Budget Requests:

  • Justice in Aging, Corporation for Supportive Housing, LeadingAge California, State Council on Developmental Disabilities, United Way of Greater LA request one-time funds of $25 million that would fund a pilot housing stabilization program for older adults and persons with disabilities who are at imminent risk of, or currently experiencing, homelessness. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will oversee competitive grants to local housing, aging, and disability agencies. Grantees will administer rental subsidies to prevent homelessness for those who are at highest risk, and offer housing stability to those most at risk of homelessness, and allow currently unhoused individuals to obtain housing in the private market.

Goal 2: Health Reimagined

Bills:

  • AB 486 (Kalra): Nursing Home Citations: Appeal Process
    • Disability Rights California
    • This bill would provide a more consistent framework for the appeals process across regulatory citations for long-term care facilities in California. This would reduce the burden on our superior court system and save judicial resources and taxpayer money. Furthermore, it would streamline and improve a process that is designed to hold negligent facilities (i.e., nursing homes) accountable.
  • AB 2685 (Ortega): Case Management Services
    • Senior Services Coalition of Alameda County
    • This bill would create a pilot program, administered by California Department of Aging (CDA), to increase capacity of the Older Americans Act funded Case Management programs in several sites throughout the state, and capture qualitative and quantitative data to measure the impact of case management on resolving the unmet social needs and improving health outcomes for low-income older adults
  • AB 2689 (Bains): Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Alzheimer’s Association
    • This bill extends until January 1, 2030, the provision that allows taxpayers to designate on their personal income tax return that a specified amount be contributed to the California Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia Research Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund.
  • AB 2753 (Ortega): Durable Medical Equipment and Services
    • Western Center on Law and Poverty, National Health Law Program
    • This bill would clarify that durable medical equipment is a covered essential health benefit in California-regulated health plans and policies when prescribed by a doctor for rehabilitative or habilitative purposes. The bill would also remove limitations such as annual caps on durable medical equipment coverage.
  • AB 2956 (Boerner): Protecting Medi-Cal Coverage for Californians
    • Western Center on Law and Poverty, The Children’s Partnership, Latino Coalition for a Health California
    • This bill would allow people to keep their Medi-Cal coverage for a full 12 months, regardless of changes in their income and would direct California to seek federal approval, when necessary, to make permanent the federal Medi-Cal flexibilities to reduce and remedy procedural terminations, simplify income verification requirements, increase automatic Medi-Cal renewals, and improve program outreach and customer service.
  • SB 980 (Wahab): Medi-Cal Dental Crowns and Implants
    • California Alliance for Retired Americans
    • This bill expands Medi-Cal to include dental implants and crowns as a covered benefit.
  • SB 1236 (Blakespear): Medicare Supplement Coverage
    • California Alliance for Retired Americans
    • This bill will establish a right to guaranteed issue for all Medicare patients seeking Medigap supplemental coverage and establishes an annual open enrollment period.
  • SB 1354 (Wahab): Medi-Cal Discrimination
    • California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman
    • This bill codifies the agreement signed by long term care facilities participating in the Medi-Cal program from discriminating against Medi-Cal beneficiaries in any manner, including, but not limited to, admission practices and discharge attempts.

Budget Requests:

  • California Long Term Care Ombudsman Association requests for $9.25 million in additional annual funding from 2 special funds administered by California Department of Public Health that already fund Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Programs to hire 50-80 additional paid staff and engage 400-500 additional volunteers to meet existing state and federal program mandates: i.e., quarterly unannounced visits to SNFs and RCFEs; resolving complaints and investigating abuse and neglect reports in LTC facilities; witnessing all Advanced Health Care Directives signed in LTC facilities; supporting resident and family councils; and, providing information, assistance, and training to residents, facility staff, and families.

Goal 3: Inclusion & Equity, Not Isolation

Bills:

  • AB 1911 (Gomez Reyes): Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) Complaint Investigation Reforms
    • California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
    • This bill would make the RCFE complaint process more timely and efficient by imposing investigation deadlines for RCFE complaints and requiring written notice to the complainant when a complaint is received and assigned for investigation. This would align the RCFE complaint process with the nursing home complaint process.
  • AB 2075 (Alvarez): Designated Support Person Access during Public Health Emergency
    • California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman
    • This bill ensures long term care facility resident access to designated support persons and other critical service providers during public health emergencies.
  • AB 2207 (Gomez Reyes): State Boards and Commissions
    • California Commission on Aging
    • This bill would expand the membership of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Advisory Committee, the CA Health Workforce Education and Training Council, the CA Workforce Development Board, the CA Behavioral Health Planning Council, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and the Interagency Council on Homelessness to include the Executive Director of the CCoA or their designee, and/or the Director of the CDA.
  • AB 2620 (Bains): California Commission on Aging
    • California Commission on Aging
    • This bill seeks to modernize the Older Californians Act statue relating to the Commission on Aging. This bill revises the duties of the Commission, among other things, to require advisory participation in considerations of initiatives, resolutions and executive orders for programs and services affecting older adults, adults with disabilities, and caregivers.
  • AB 2636 (Bains): Older Californians Act
    • California Association of Area Agencies on Aging
    • This bill would recast and revise various provisions of the Older Californians Act, including updating findings and declarations relating to statistics and issues of concern to the older adult population, and replacing references throughout the act from “senior,” and similar terminology to “older adult.”
  • AB 2680 (Aguiar Curry): Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Alzheimer’s Association
    • This bill would update the state’s Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Advisory Committee to add new members, conform term lengths, remove stigmatizing language, and uplift diversity.
  • SB 639 (Limon): Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Alzheimer’s Association
    • This bill would update the state Alzheimer’s Disease Centers to include Dementia Care Aware, which will improve state systems that help people receive a timely and accurate diagnosis.
  • SB 1249 (Roth): Older Californians Act
    • California Commission on Aging
    • This bill seeks to modernize the Older Californians Act in response to the stakeholder engagement resulting in the creation of the California 2030 report.

Goal 4: Caregiving That Works

Bills

  • AB 518 (Wicks): Paid Family Leave
    • This bill would expand the definition of “family member” and “family care leave” which will allow family caregivers to take paid family leave to care for individuals related by blood or whose association with the caregiver is the equivalent of a family relationship.
  • AB 1006 (McKinnor): Aging and Disability Resource Connection program: No Wrong Door System
    • SEIU California
    • This bill would require the California Department of Aging to establish a statewide respite referral registry to match Medi-Cal consumers with vetted, culturally competent, respite providers, under the Aging and Disability Resource Connection No Wrong Door System.
  • AB 2123 (Papan): Paid Family Leave
    • Legal Aid at Work
    • Allows workers to access Paid Family Leave without having to use accrued vacation time first.
  • AB 3079 (Ting): In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
    • City and County of San Francisco
    • This bill would allow an IHSS care recipient to choose an undocumented relative as their provider.
  • SB 1090 (Durazo): Paid Family Leave
    • Legal Aid at Work
    • This bill would allow California workers to apply for Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance benefits up to 30 days before they are on leave. As a result, workers will be able to get confirmation of their eligibility and benefit amount before starting their leave, and receive benefits sooner. Currently, California workers must wait until they are already on leave to apply.
  • SB 1434 (Durazo): Unemployment Insurance
    • Center for Workers’ Rights
    • This bill would increase the weekly benefit amount for unemployment, and increase employer payments to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Family Caregivers may be eligible for unemployment if their work is unable to make requested accommodations for caregiving and they have to quit their job.

Goal 5: Affording Aging

Bills:

  • AB 2356 (Wallis): Personal Needs Allowance
    • California Senior Legislature
    • This bill would increase the monthly maintenance amount for personal and incidental needs from $35 to $50, and would require that the amount be increased annually.

Budget Requests:

  • Californians for SSI Coalition requests critical investments to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) do not struggle with the toxic stress of poverty and have the economic security to live in safe environments.
    • Appropriate a three-step increase to bring the SSI/SSP grants to 100% of the federal poverty level over three years and provide an ongoing Cost of Living Adjustment. ($282.7 million in 2024-25, then increasing to $340.9 million in 2026-27, to increase the SSI/SSP grants to 100 percent of the federal poverty level)
    • Revive and refund the Special Circumstances Program as a 5 year, time-limited program. ($10 million for five years)

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