Grant, task force on aging advanced

A bill that would create a statewide task force on aging and seek federal grant funds was amended and advanced March 25.

Under LB690, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) would be required by Sept. 1, 2014, to apply for a federal grant to fund the development of a comprehensive and coordinated system of home and community based long-term care services.

The bill also would create the Aging Nebraskans Task Force to facilitate implementation of the statewide strategic plan for addressing the needs of Nebraska’s aging population.

The task force would include stakeholders as well as representatives of the three branches of state government and would report its recommendations to the Legislature by Dec. 15, 2014. The task force would terminate June 30, 2016, unless extended by the Legislature.

Bolz offered an amendment on select file that added two more legislative members to the proposed task force’s executive committee and specified that executive and judicial branch representatives would be nonvoting, ex officio members.

The amendment also specified that the four stakeholder members appointed to the task force by the executive committee would be nonvoting members.

Finally, the amendment removed provisions for hiring task force staff and would require DHHS to report annually the percentage of growth in Medicaid spending for people over age 65 for five years following acceptance of the federal grant application.

Following adoption of the amendment 28-0, senators advanced LB690 to final reading by voice vote.

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