The state Senate approved Sen. Barbara Bailey’s legislation, Senate Bill 5180, which would formally establish a Legislative Advisory Committee on Aging. A similar panel existed from 2013 through mid-2017; Bailey’s bill would launch the committee in mid-2019 for another two years. The bill was approved unanimously Monday night.
“Many people know that a main motivator of my seeking public office was my personal experience related to caring for my aging mother,” said Bailey. “I was saddened, frustrated, and concerned with the state of long-term care and the challenges facing aging populations. Aging issues aren’t going away, and our state needs to seriously understand the wide-ranging and inter-connected policies that impact our state’s aging population.”
The committee is tasked with developing strategic policies to serve that population such as guardianships, health care, malnutrition and even transportation and land use as it affects aged populations in communities. Reports indicate that by 2030 one in every five people will be over the age of 65 in Washington.
“I’m glad that my colleagues see the value of this committee’s work,” added Bailey. “We are facing an age-wave and the work of this committee will serve the state well, making sure we are adopting policies that meet the needs of aging Washingtonians.”
Bailey’s colleagues lauded her work on aging and disability issues, sponsoring numerous bills to improve health care delivery, access to hearing devices and education for seniors concerning long-term care and planning. Senate Democrats however have held several of Bailey’s bills concerning aging issues including Senate Bill 6113, which creates priority processing for adult family home license applications, and Senate Bill 5181 which permits notification of long-term care residents of their ability to install electronic monitoring in their rooms.