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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 6, 2015 10:00 AM
From: Senator Art Haywood
To: All Senate members
Subject: Governor's Budget Package Legislation Regarding the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA) and the creation of an online homecare registry
In the near future I will be introducing legislation on behalf of the Governor that is included in the 2015-16 fiscal year budget.

The legislation will amend the Older Adults Protective Services Act to create an online homecare registry and ensure that consumers have confidence they are hiring competent and skilled homecare workers.

With one of the oldest populations in the country, it is past time for the Commonwealth to scale up successful and innovative programs that allow our seniors to age with dignity. A survey by Pennsylvania AARP found that 95 percent of older Pennsylvanians would prefer to receive care in their home. Unfortunately, too many of our seniors are forced to move to nursing homes because they can no longer fully care for themselves and their families lack the resources to provide care.

Not only do we need to expand programs that allow seniors to remain in their own homes when possible, we also need to ensure that we are growing and professionalizing the homecare workforce. According to PHI PolicyWorks (PHI), Pennsylvania’s direct care workforce in 2013 consisted of 194,670 workers. Between 2012 and 2022, the direct care workforce is projected to grow by 33 percent.

The proposed amendments to the Older Adults Protective Services Act include the creation of an online homecare registry, which will make it easier for workers to find stable employment opportunities and for consumers to find competent care. This registry will be housed in and maintained by the Department of Aging. The legislation also brings our criminal background check requirements into line with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recommendations and extends this requirement to homecare workers who are listed on the registry.

I hope that you will join me by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB119