Jackson Bills To Address the Needs of Aging Californians Pass off Assembly Floor

September 10, 2019

SACRAMENTO –Two bills authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to address the needs of California’s growing senior population have passed off the Assembly floor. Senate Bill 280, which passed with a bipartisan, 66-0 vote, addresses home building standards to help aging and disabled adults reduce their risk of dangerous falls and allow them to age at home.

Senate Bill 228, which passed with a bipartisan 68-0 vote, provides a policy framework for the Master Plan for Aging and Disabled Californians, established by Governor Gavin Newsom through executive order. The bills now move to the Senate for final votes this week before heading to the Governor’s desk. 

“By 2030, our older population will nearly double in California, bringing an increase of 4 million people over the age of 65. We owe it to them to ensure we are prepared to meet their needs and allow them to live safely at home for as long as possible. We cannot not leave our aging adults behind,” said Jackson.

Jackson’s Senate Bill 280 seeks to modify home building standards through such features as widened doors, a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor, grab bars in bathrooms and reachable heating and air conditioning controls.

Direct medical costs for falls – what patients and insurance companies pay – totaled $34 billion in 2013. With the state’s senior population growing, that cost is only expected to grow.

“For many Californians who are aging or disabled, simple home improvements could mean the difference between being able to live at home or having institutionalized care,” said Jackson.

Senate Bill 228 provides direction for the establishment of the Master Plan for Aging and Disabled Californians. It encourages collaboration among state departments and stakeholders, provides a framework of values, builds on best practices and research to provide a vision and plan for addressing the long- and short-term needs of aging and disabled Californians, and requires reporting to the Legislature on the progress of the plan.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.