Tuesday, 07 February 2023

Sen. Dodd’s elderly and disabled assistance bills advance

SACRAMENTO – A pair of bills from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to improve the lives of seniors and people with disabilities has cleared key committees.

“We absolutely must look out for our most vulnerable population,” Sen. Dodd said. “I’m proposing legislation that achieves that important goal while saving money for the state. It is commonsense policy that ensures everyone comes out ahead.”

Senate Bill 214, which passed the Senate Health committee yesterday, would allow low-income people with disabilities to make the transition from skilled nursing facilities to receiving care in their homes, getting residents in the most integrated community settings possible. It allows for the extension of an existing program if federal funds run out in 2020.

The program, California Community Transitions, successfully transitioned 3,629 from institutional settings since 2007 for an average savings of $60,000 per person per year.

The bill is co-sponsored by Disability Rights California and East Bay Innovations.

“We’re appreciative of Sen. Dodd’s leadership in authoring this bill so we can continue to provide these important services,” said Tom Heinz, East Bay Innovations’ executive director. “California Community Transitions opens up the world again for people who have been trapped in institutionalized settings so they can return to a life of dignity and choice.”

The second bill, SB 263, would help Californians with disabilities save for their financial futures while streamlining accounting requirements for small businesses. It increases the amount people can put in CalABLE accounts, which allow families of the disabled to open tax-free savings accounts without the worry of losing government assistance.

SB 263 is supported by Treasurer Fiona Ma and disability rights advocates. It passed the Senate Governance and Finance committee yesterday.

“This would allow for greater participation by people without fear of losing important benefits like SSI and Medicaid,” said Treasurer Ma. “It’s time to give these folks some financial security and stability and stop hiding assets.”

Dodd represents California’s Third Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Sen. Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.

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