Friday, February 28, 2020

Rep. Fay’s “Cabinet on Aging” bill passed by House

A bill sponsored by Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Raymond, to ensure cooperation and coordination between government departments when developing policy and providing services to older Mainers was passed unanimously by the Maine House of Representatives.

“Our current structure allows for collaboration but it doesn’t codify it. The current administration is trying to work across these different policy areas, including the recent designation of Maine as an AARP Age-Friendly State. This is a fantastic start,” Fay said. “The Cabinet on Aging would elevate the profile of that work and, at its heart, make sure that that work continues in an accessible and public way, regardless of changes in administration.”

The bill, LD 1733, An Act To Ensure Comprehensive Interdepartmental Planning, Coordination and Collaboration on Aging Policy, would create a “Cabinet on Aging.” Based on the same concept as the “Children’s Cabinet,” it would be tasked with promoting interagency cooperation for dealing with the issues faced by older Mainers. It would consist of representatives of multiple departments and agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor, the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management and the Maine State Housing Authority.

The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate in the coming weeks.

Fay, who represents part of Casco, part of Poland and part of Raymond, is in her second term in the House. She serves on the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. She is also the House chair of the bipartisan Legislative Caucus on Aging.

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