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Dear Neighbor,
You may be interested in some of the bills I filed this year about issues affecting labor standards and older people.  Future newsletter(s) will be about other bills and topics.

S.1082 would raise the subminimum wage for tipped workers until their compensation becomes equal with the standard minimum wage.  See One Fair Wage.

S.1081 would ensure that companies that receive tax breaks of over a million dollars pay a prevailing wage.

S.1083 would ban noncompetition agreements. Current statutes limiting noncompetition agreements have many avenues for abuse.


S.1683 would raise the local option cap for senior property tax deferral to $80,000 for homeowners over 65, helping seniors who are house rich but cash poor.  (see more at recent newsletter)

S.358 would mandate wage and benefit increases for Homemakers, Home Health Aides, and ASAP Case Managers to address difficulties in recruiting and retaining the qualified workforce.  It's essential to meet the growing client demand for long term services and supports in the community.

S.360 would require an examination of cost trends and financial performance among nursing facilitiesMany nursing homes struggle to maintain adequate resources for staff, training, and programing.  However,  Kay Lazar’s investigative reporting for the Boston Globe showed that three-quarters of the Commonwealth’s nursing facilities are for-profit companies which tend to spend less on food and nursing services than non-profit operators.  This analysis may allow us to consider requiring a minimum percentage of payments to go to patient care rather than administration and profit.

S.357  would increase the personal needs allowance (PNA) for residents of long term care facilities. The PNA pays for expenses not covered by Medicaid for nursing/rest home residents. This money helps residents pay for clothing, shoes and other personal needs.

S.362 Recently the Somerville Home closed, like too many other rest homes.  (see previous newsletter)  This bill would require the Department of Public Health to separate regulations for rest homes (affordable, supportive housing for older adults and others who are unable to live independently but don't need skilled services of nursing facilities) from long term care regulations. Inappropriate regulations for rest homes threaten their continued existence.

would allow assisted living residences to to provide an expanded set of basic health services: providing injections, such as Insulin; managing oxygen; applying drops or ointments; changing a dressing; and managing wound care. This would allow more people to stay in assisted living rather than having to move to nursing homes, or to other states where assisted living can provide these services. 

S.602 would establish the secure choice retirement program and expand the CORE plan to all employers: Massachusetts is second only to Mississippi in economic insecurity for older people, due to inadequate savings and pensions.  People are 15 times more likely to save for retirement when they can do so at work. This bill makes it easier for business to offer employees a way to save out of their regular paychecks.  It is easy for employers to set up, and there would be no ongoing costs to the employers.  This is a top priority of AARP.

S359 would prevent caregivers from working during a criminal investigation of abuse of an elder or person with disabilities.  If found guilty, they would not be able to work as a caregiver again.  We filed this after channel 5 reports on abuse by caregivers uncovered loopholes.

(There are several other more technical bills.)
As always, let me know your thoughts, and stay in touch,
Copyright © *Committee to Re-Elect Pat Jehlen, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
CTE Pat Jehlen, 67 Dane St, Somerville MA 02143

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