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Legislative Report for Nov. 2015

State legislative committee will met Nov. 16-17, 2015.  Jack Leasure has graciously volunteered to cover for me at this meeting. My wife and I will be traveling. They will be looking at any headway we might have made with our 2015 agenda and what we should be looking at for next year. And probably what we can expect with the new Speaker of the House.

Local elections are over by the time we meet, hopefully they met your expectations.

State Government is done for this year as far as any meaningful work.

Two things that are showing up:

With the tax cap and less state aid, small, rural districts are being hit especially hard. Smaller school districts often rely on outside placements to find the most appropriate and productive educational settings for students with special needs. But more and more, districts are being forced to abandon their ability to provide what kids need. They simply can’t afford it. So students who were placed in intensive special programs, at district expense, are being brought back to the district to save money and stay under the tax cap.

The governor is currently considering legislation that would provide pension credit equity for all public employees who have served in our nation’s military. Right now, only certain veterans are eligible for the credit, based on specific periods during which they may have served. All our veterans deserve to be treated with the same appreciation and respect, for many of retirees it will be to late but should be in place.

Take action now to ask the governor to sign the Veterans Pension Credit bill!

Federal:

If Congress does not act soon, the Medicare Part B premium and deductibles are expected to increase significantly for older adults and people with disabilities in 2016. You are urged to contact your legislators and request they support a comprehensive and affordable Medicare program.

Word has it that there will be no Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) for next year. While there will be no COLA, the Part B premium is expected to increase significantly for some people with Medicare, including new enrollees, individuals not collecting Social Security benefits, and beneficiaries already paying higher premiums. People with Medicare should take the time to evaluate their plan choices and select the plan that best meets their health and financial needs.

Bill Lesniak, Chairperson

CWZ Legislative Committee