Though many states continue to face economic challenges, we applaud those that are forging ahead and working towards creating real solutions that will make real differences in the lives of caregivers. In 2003, already 19 states have introduced legislation that would either explicitly or implicitly assist caregivers. In general, the legislation listed below does not include annual appropriations measures, unless significantly new funding or program development is included in the proposal. Included for each state is a link to the home page of the state legislature where you can use the website search engine to get legislative information.
For more general information about state legislatures, the following links may be useful:
The National Conference of State Legislatures
The Enterprise Foundation
The American College of Emergency Physicians
H.B. 1756 Adds a $.5 tax to cigarettes to fund the Medicaid match for Personal Care and ElderChoices services including respite care, and to expand Medicaid home and community-based care options. Link to Arkansas Legislature: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/
A.B. 1523 The California legislature is currently considering A.B. 1523, which creates a $1,000 tax credit for long-term care needs or long-term care insurance coverage for a family member. A hearing on the legislation has been scheduled for May 12, 2003.
Link to the California Legislature: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/
S.B. 720 Allows a primary caregiver of a homebound person to request an absentee ballot for voting purposes.
S.B. 730 Requires the availability of consumer-directed personal care attendant (PCA) services as an alternative to regular home health care under the state-funded portion and the Medicaid waiver portion of the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders. The bill would permit recipients' family members, other than spouses, to act as PCAs in this program. The client would employ, train and supervise the attendant. Bill and status information.
H.B. 6635 Creates a LifeSpan Respite Commission to study and make recommendations on the availability and delivery of respite care services to persons of all ages within Connecticut, and to fund a demonstration program.
Link to Connecticut Legislature: http://www.cga.ct.gov/
H. 0749/S. 2664 Creates the Florida Lifespan Respite Care Program to enhance the quality and quantity of respite care available to families statewide. The House bill has been approved by the relevant committees and is now in appropriations. The Senate bill has been approved by Children and Families Committee and referred to the Health, Aging and Long-term Care Committee
S.B. 2664 Provides a training and certification program for caregivers of disabled children and adults who are receiving services under the state's Medicaid home and community-based waiver.
Link to Florida Legislature: http://www.flsenate.gov
S.B. 170/H.B. 701 Establishes a consumer or family directed care program. Enrolled persons will choose their providers of services and will direct the delivery of services to best meet their long-term care needs. Providers may include family members, neighbors or friends.
Link to Georgia Legislature: http://www.legis.ga.gov
H.B. 90/S.B. 1020 Creates a $2,500 tax credit for premium cost associated with long-term care insurance.
H.B. 169/S.B. 1843 Authorizes the Hawaii State Unit on Aging to hire a family caregiver services coordinator; establishes an advisory board on family caregiving; funds training for family caregivers of seniors; and funds respite for family caregivers of seniors.
H.B. 226/S.B. 953 Provides respite care funding for families of individuals with special needs, including older adults and adults with disabilities.
H.B.389 Requires an employer who provides sick leave for employees to permit employees to use up to 10 days of accrued and available sick leave for family leave purposes. This legislation became law on May 2, 2003.
H.B. 711 Creates an "elder wellness" demonstration project to provide services, include respite care, that would assist older persons in remaining in their homes.
H.B. 1421 & S.B. 1583 Creates a caregiver tax credit for $2,000.
H.B. 1586/S.B. 884 Appropriates $5.6 million in general revenue for the Residential Alternative Community Care program, which uses Medicaid funds to provide home and community-based services. The increase in funding will maximize federal reimbursement. HB 1586 would also appropriate $4.4 million for a chore services program.
H.C.R. 205/S.R. 120 Supports the efforts of Hawaii's Executive Office on Aging and Department of Health to develop the Self-Determination Demonstration Project, which would advance consumer-directed services within Hawaii.
S.B. 939 Creates the Hawaii Respite Services Trust Fund to provide grants to caregivers for respite services.
Link to the Hawaii State Legislature: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov
H.B. 0293 Creates a program to prevent unnecessary institutionalization of older adults or persons with Alzheimer's disease. Services may include respite care, home health care and other home care services.
H.B. 1102 Creates the Family Caregiver Support Coordinating Council to coordinate statewide planning, development and implementation of family caregiver support services.
H.B. 1196/H.B. 2973 Establishes a multi-faceted family caregiver support program to assist unpaid family caregivers who are informal providers of in-home and community care to older individuals or children.
H.B. 1254/H.B. 2922 Establishes home and community-based services to prevent unnecessary institutionalization of persons aged 60 and older. Services would include respite care services available during the day, weekend and on an emergency basis.
H.B. 3118 Creates a statewide Lifespan Respite program for individuals not eligible for services under other programs.
H.B. 3225 Creates a consumer-directed care demonstration program for persons served in Medicaid home and community-based service waivers. Consumers would receive a monthly budget for services, and would be able to hire relatives, friends and neighbors to provide these services.
H.J.R. 0014/S.J.R. 0016 Creates the Illinois Legislative Alzheimer's Disease Task Force. The goals of the task force include providing training and support to family and informal caregivers.
Link to the Illinois Legislature: http://www.ilga.gov/
H.B. 1694 Creates a $1,000 tax deduction for the premium cost associated with long-term care insurance.
H.B. 1900 Requires Indiana's Medicaid agency to apply for a federal "cash and counseling" waiver, which would provide Medicaid recipients with a cash allowance to purchase their own services.
S.B. 493 Establishes a home and community based long-term care service program; exempts individuals using Medicaid home and community based waiver services from lien recovery; amends the Medicaid Aged/Disabled waiver to include any service offered by the community and home options to institutional care for the elderly and disabled (CHOICE) program.
S.B. 527 Establishes a "caretaker support" program. Also implements programs that assist disabled and elderly citizens in living with the maximum amount of freedom.
S.B. 531 Provides a tax deduction for individuals who sell capital assets in order to finance long-term care needs.
Link to the Indiana legislature: http://www.IN.gov/legislativehttp://www.legislature.ms.gov/Pages/Web-Cast.aspx
H.F. 44 Requires that moneys in the Senior Living Trust Fund - used to provide long-term care services including home and community-based care - be invested until the funding level has reached $200 million. Once funding has reached $200 million, only the interest could be allocated for services.
Link to the Iowa legislature: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/
S.B. 277 Creates a tax deduction for the premium costs associated with long-term care insurance.
Link to the Kansas legislature: http://www.kslegislature.org/
H.B. 26 Promotes a consistent public policy for persons with disabilities and the frail elderly and their informal caregivers, including providing them with the following rights and responsibilities: the right to individual independence, dignity, privacy, and respect; and the right to individual choice regarding planning and managing of programs to assist with living in the community in the place of their choice.
H.B. 79 Creates a Medicaid buy-in program for adults with disabilities; makes recommendations on eligibility, personal care assistance services, coordination with other programs and policy considerations.
Link to Kentucky legislature: http://www.lrc.state.ky.us
S.B. 325 Creates the "Office of Family Support" within the state's Department of Social Services. The office would implement an integrated system of long-term care, including a full-range of home and community-based services to ensure the least restrictive setting for older persons.
S.B. 977 Makes adult day health care a part of the Medicaid state plan, as opposed to an optional or waiver service.
Link to Louisiana legislature: http://www.legis.state.la.us/
L.D. 1075 Creates a commission to study the availability of care for persons with dementia, including ways to reduce the burden on family caregivers.
Link to Maine legislature: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/siteguide/
S.B. 534 Requires that an "aftercare plan" be written for older adults after any short-term hospital stay. The plan should detail any health care needs, such as home health, that the older adult may need and should include a list of providers to meet those needs.
S.B. 554 Requires the commission of independent analysis of Medicaid's home and community-based care system, including providing family support as a way to prevent or delay institutionalization. The analysis should also include the impact of current caregiver support policies on the responsibilities of families to provide housing, food and daily care.
S.B. 670 Requires that all nursing home eligible Medicaid recipients be pre-screened before entering a nursing home to ensure that a home or community-based care setting is not available or more appropriate.
S.B. 767 Requires that Medicaid recipients who currently reside in a nursing home or who are nursing home eligible are able to receive care in the least restrictive setting, and that the funding for these services follow the individual as their setting of care changes.
S.B. 799 Creates a commission to study the availability of institutional care and other programs to meet the needs of adults (ages 18-59) with progressive or severe neurologic disabilities.
S.B. 875 Allows those who purchase a "pre-certified" long-term care insurance policy to be eligible for Medicaid once insurance benefits have been exhausted, regardless of assets.
Link to the Massachusetts legislature: http://www.state.ma.us/legis
S.B. 119/S.B. 122 Creates a $1,000 tax credit for the premium costs associated with long-term care insurance.
H.B. 4476 Creates a lifespan respite program.
Link to Michigan legislature: http://www.michiganlegislature.org
H.B. 739 Comprehensive mental health bill which includes provisions that would provide support to caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease.
H.B. 775 Would require the development of a comprehensive plan for providing services to disabled persons, including the provision of respite care, personal care and family support services.
S.B. 740 Invests the State Board of Mental Health with certain duties and responsibilities, including developing and implementing state plans to assist with the care and treatment of persons with Alzheimer's and other dementia. This plan would include the education and training of caregivers, as well as the provision of respite care and other support services to maintain the individual at home.
Link to the Mississippi legislature:http://www.legislature.ms.gov/
S.B. 44 Provides paid family leave, funded through the state's unemployment compensation disability insurance fund, for six weeks to care for a ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a new child. The program would apply to all employers within Missouri.
Link to the Missouri legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov/
S.B. 433 Adds a tax on soft drinks to fund a variety of services, including respite care, family caregiver services and other in-home services.
S.J.R. 18 The Montana legislature has approved S.J.R. 18, a bill to require the state to apply for a Medicaid waiver that would provide payment to family members to provide care for an elderly or disabled loved one. The legislation also requires that caregivers be involved in the development of the waiver. S.J.R. 18 must be approved by the governor before it takes effect.
Link to Montana legislature: http://leg.mt.gov/
L.B. 108 Creates a $500 tax credit for the premium costs associated with long-term care insurance.
Link to Nebraska Legislature: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/
H.B. 831 Creates a study commission on end-of-life care. Goals of the commission include the education and training of caregivers.
Link to the New Hampshire legislature: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/index/
A. 606 Provides a tax credit to businesses who provide a long-term care insurance benefit for their employees.
A. 875 Provides $2 million to expand the Respite Care for the Elderly Program.
Link to New Jersey legislature: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us
A. 2607 Requires that any group health insurance plan that covers in-patient hospital care also cover respite care.
Link to New York Legislature: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menuf.cgi
H.B. 1469 Allows those who purchase a "pre-certified" long-term care insurance policy to be eligible for Medicaid once insurance benefits have been exhausted, regardless of assets.
S.B. 2083 The North Dakota legislature recently approved S.B. 2083, which would change eligibility for the Service Payments for the Elderly and Disabled (SPED) program. The state-funded program provides respite and personal care, among other services. Under new rules, older persons with assets of $25,000 would be eligible for services without any cost-sharing; those with assets between $25,000 and $50,000 would be required to cost share.
Link to North Dakota legislature: http://www.legis.nd.gov/
S.B. 749 Creates a consumer-directed care program which provides recipients of in-home and community-based services with a cash allowance to purchase their own services.
Link to Oklahoma Legislature: http://www.lsb.state.ok.us
H.B. 52 Allows those who purchase a "pre-certified" long-term care insurance policy to be eligible for Medicaid once insurance benefits have been exhausted, regardless of assets.
H.B. 81 Creates a $500 tax credit for the premium costs associated with long-term care insurance.
H.B. 236 Establishes a program to assist persons who bear primary responsibility for the at-home care of functionally dependent older adults and victims of chronic dementia. Sets reimbursement maximums at $600 per month for a qualified caregiver whose household income is under 200% of poverty.
H.B. 462 Allocates 6.5% of 1% of the money in the State Lottery Fund to the family care support programs of the Department of Aging for education and training for Alzheimer's caregivers. The funding also will be used to provide respite for persons with dementia so that caregivers may attend the training sessions.
S.B. 486 Directs the Department of Health to develop a program to provide respite services to persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease or related disorders of aging. Appropriates $2 million for this program.
Link to Pennsylvania legislature: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/billroom.htm
H. 5241 Creates a $100 tax credit for the premium costs associated with long-term care insurance.
H. 5246 Further promotes access to home and community-based services as an alternative to institutionalized care.
Link to the Rhode Island legislature: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us
S. 193 Creates a $350 tax credit for the premium costs associated with long-term care insurance.
Link to the South Carolina legislature: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/
H.B. 13 Requires the state to develop and implement a comprehensive system of long-term care, including the provision of home and community-based services.
Link to Tennessee Legislature: http://www.legislature.state.tn.us
H.B. 2019 Creates the Texas Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Advisory Council and mandates that at least 3 members are relatives of persons with TBI. Among other duties, the council would focus on advising state leaders about the policies and issues that family caregivers face in caring for a loved one with TBI.
H.B. 3182 Creates a consumer-directed care demonstration program which provides recipients of in-home and community-based services with a cash allowance to purchase their own services.
Link to the Texas legislature: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/
H. 363 Creates the Vermont Consumer-Directed Care Act which provides recipients of in-home and community-based services with a cash allowance to purchase their own services. Participants may hire friends, relatives and neighbors - including spouses - to provide services.
Link to the Vermont legislature: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/
H.B. 1703 Amends the Caregiver Grant Program which currently provides caregivers of physically or mentally impaired individuals with $500 annually. The amendment would provide $3000 for caregivers who could demonstrate that the impaired relative would be institutionalized if the caregiver did not provide care for the relative.
H.B. 2555 Creates a tax credit for an unspecified amount for the premium costs associated with long-term care insurance.
S.B. 958 Creates a long-term care insurance program for state government employees.
Link to Virginia Legislature: http://leg1.state.va.us
S.B. 131 Creates an Alzheimer's caregiver assistance program to provide respite services for informal caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.
Link to the West Virginia legislature: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/