Senator Jeff Klein and the Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC) released a quality of life and affordability survey and report on February 20 called New York 2020: Seniors First Institute which reported on a survey of 4500 older New Yorkers and makes a series of recommendations to assist them. One of the key findings was that 83% of older persons in the survey do not feel state government is paying enough attention to their concerns and issues.
The survey was supported and promoted by the IDC with major senior organizations in the state including the New York State AARP, the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans (NYSARA), the New York Statewide Senior Action Council, LiveOn New York, the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), Lifespan, Protectseniors.org, and the Association of Belltel Retirees.
The report calls for the creation of an office of independent utility consumer advocate. It also calls for a state Secure Choice Savings plan, paid family leave, an increase in the tax credit to purchase long term care insurance, and an increase in support for renters and homeowners. The IDC also proposes a State Heating and Energy Assistance Program to provide more help to low and middle income seniors with utility costs. Another proposal would strengthen protections against financial fraud.
“Each and every one of our seniors worked, raised families, contributed to their communities, and made New York State a better place. Now, as they enter their golden years, they deserve to live comfortably ,and independently. That is why I am proud that we created an unprecedented partnership with so many of New York’s senior citizen advocacy groups, to survey 4,500 seniors statewide and launch the Seniors First Initiative. Our comprehensive plan lays out multiple proposals to help keep our seniors in their own homes, help afford rising utility and heating costs, and help protect our seniors from financial fraud. With the Seniors First Initiative, it’s time for the State to listen to New York’s seniors, and put their needs first” said Senator Klein.
Here is a link to the full report.