2011 Legislative Preview

As South Dakota’s Legislative session kicks off, budget shortfalls will again be a focus for lawmakers. AARP South Dakota will be watching a number of issues, but a primary concern will be protecting Medicaid funding.

“Medicaid is critically important to thousands of older South Dakotans who receive Long-term care services through this important safety net,” said Sam Wilson, associate state director for advocacy for AARP South Dakota. “Any proposed cuts to Medicaid would have a detrimental effect on access to and quality of care for those vulnerable South Dakotans. AARP will closely watch any measures to cut Medicaid and work to ensure South Dakotans have access to and receive the care they need.”

Proposed across the board budget cuts may also target low income seniors by reducing or eliminating the Elderly and Disabled Tax credit. Each year, thousands of low-income South Dakotans benefit from this important rebate on property or sales tax. AARP South Dakota will work to ensure the continuation of this program.

Additionally we’ll be supporting a measure to require mandatory reporting of elder abuse. This measure would ensure no suspected case of elder abuse would ever fall through the cracks and provide a seamless process for detecting, reporting, investigating elder abuse. Passage of this measure would require caregivers, home and community based care providers such as home health care workers and Meal-on-Wheels delivery persons and health care providers would be required to report suspected abuse in much the same way teachers and child care providers are required to report child abuse.

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