House Dems’ Elder Coloradans Package Advances

(April 14) – The House gave voice-vote approval this morning to two bills to increase the economic and physical security of Colorado retirees.

HB15-1033, sponsored by Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield, orders a strategic action plan to anticipate and respond to the significant changes Colorado will have to make to accommodate the increasing number of residents 50 years of age and older.

The ratio of working adults to senior citizens in Colorado will drop by a third in 15 years, triggering seismic economic shifts as more Coloradans live on fixed retirement incomes, reducing tax revenue but increasing demand for health care, senior housing and a variety of other services.

Rep. Primavera’s bill creates a strategic planning group appointed by the Governor to make recommendations by November 2016 to address the impacts of this unprecedented demographic shift.

“Colorado is facing the perfect storm with this reduction of tax revenues and the rising number of seniors,” Rep. Primavera said. “This bill will help Colorado weather this storm.”

HB15-1018, sponsored by Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, increases efforts to stop those who cheat, steal from or physically abuse the elderly.

Current law requires some types of professionals, ranging from physicians to clergy members to law enforcement officials to pharmacists, to report elder abuse when they see it. The bill expands the list to include victims’ advocates associated with law enforcement agencies and call-n-ride drivers.

“This bill will make sure that people who have worked hard their whole lives are able to continue to live independently in their homes and retire with dignity and in safety,” Rep. Danielson said.

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