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Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Legislation Affecting Seniors, Seniors First San Diego, Sharon Lee | 0 comments

LEGISLATIVE REPORT: An act to add Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 8000) to Part 2 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code, and to amend Section 18724 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to seniors. Introduced by Assemblymember Wagner (R-Irvine) on February 6, 2013.

SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATION

Elder Law & Advocacy strongly supports the passage of Assembly Bill 247.

PURPOSE OF LEGISLATION

AB 247 extends the repeal date from January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2020 for taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the California Fund for Senior Citizens. Taxpayers may contribute to one or more of the listed voluntary contribution funds by checking a box on their state income tax return. Currently, the tax return allows a taxpayer to designate the contributions to specified funds, including California seniors.

BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION OF POSITION

Extending the repeal date of the California Fund for Senior Citizens encourages charitable giving and demonstrates a continued interest in contributing and supporting California’s growing senior population worthy of as much interest and financial support as other organizations and causes.

The legislature has long recognized the importance of the California Fund for Senior Citizens. Four past bills have pushed back the repeal date from 1997 to 2015. According to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee analysis, the California Fund for Senior Citizens has collected over $1.46 million in the past five years. The amount is relatively small considering that nearly 90,000 taxpayers contributed approximately $4.7 million total to California’s tax check-off programs in 2012. Less than 1% of Californians use the tax check-off to contribute to programs.

The California Fund for Senior Citizens funds important programs and legislation concerning our seniors. The California Fund for Senior Citizens is the primary source of funds for the California Senior Legislature (“CSL”). The CSL prioritizes and submits state and federal legislative proposals. The CSL introduced six state bills and one federal bill as part of the CSL 2012 Proposals.

In addition, the California Fund for Senior Citizens funds Senior Citizens Adult Day Health Care Centers, nutrition centers, respite care, long-term care, senior citizen abuse prevention programs, and Alzheimer day care programs. These include programs and services which have been affected by sequestration.

CURRENT STATUS

The bill read for a second time in the Senate and ordered to a third reading on August 14, 2013. It was passed by the Senate and sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 26, 2013. The bill was passed by the Assembly on April 22, 2013.

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