Legislation To Watch
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A Win for HCBS
EPDPA and Community partners were successful in advocacy efforts regarding passage of critical American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funding intended to aid providers in recruiting and retaining direct care workers. ARPA funding will be a crucial tool in combating the current workforce shortage challenges our industry is facing by enabling HCBS providers to use the funds to attract and retain new staff, as well as reward staff who have worked in this field throughout the pandemic. While this funding will not solve all issues, it will go a long way to take care of our staff, who are so dedicated to caring for others. The State of Arizona owes this workforce a debt of gratitude, and this will be an excellent first step.
For more information on ARPA HCBS funding, please visit https://www.azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/Initiatives/ARPA/providerPayment.html
•SB 1377 Leach – Civil Liability; Public Health Pandemic – Good faith presumption, not liable for civil damages unless clear and convincing evidence, willful misconduct, or gross negligence
•HB 2562 Cobb/SB 1327 Alston – Tax Credit; Affordable Housing - $8M/YR Tax Credits developers providing federal low-income housing – both bills getting hearings in Appropriations – Bi-partisan Support
•HB 2521 Osborne – Long Term Care; Health Aides - Creates licensed health aide services as a covered HCBS under the ALTCS in AHCCCS – Passed House Health and Human Services Committee 9-0
•HB 2299 Dunn – DHS; Long Term Care; Facility Surveyors - $1M for 13 FTEs- House Health Amendment increases to $3M and 43 FTEs as the Governor’s budget asked – Ready for House Committee of the Whole
•SB 1514 Livingston – Appropriations; Emergency Shelter Beds; Seniors – Appropriates $5M to serve homeless seniors in Western Maricopa County
•SB 1537 Alston – Alzheimer’s; Dementia; Advisory Council
•SB 1321 Alston – Adult Protective Services - $3M for DES
•SB 1319 Alston – Appropriation; Agencies on Aging; Ombudsman - $1M for DES to hire Ombudsmen