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Floren, Panel Add Power To Help Seniors

State Rep. Livvy Floren, R-Greenwich, joined the other members of the General Assembly's Select Committee on Aging in announcing its new status as a standing committee at the Capitol on Tuesday. The change to become the Committee on Aging is not just a name change.

It allows the group to form bills and send them directly to the House or Senate floor for a vote. Under the previous process, bills had to be approved a second committee, which sometimes resulted in legislation dying before it could be debated. Committee members said the change costs no extra money.

It "is a transformational day" for Connecticut residents 65 and older, who make up 14 percent of the state's population, Floren said.

"As the seventh oldest state in the union, our population is burgeoning and the need for services is increasing," she said. "We are living longer and we must make sure we are living better. It is imperative that we craft service-delivery models that meet seniors needs in a cost-efficient way."

The lawmakers' agenda includes expanding home-health care options to keep people out of nursing homes, guaranteeing criminal background checks for home-health aides and personal care assistants, and mandating nursing homes provide air conditioners to residents.

What issues are of special concern to senior citizens? What should be this committee's priority? Leave a comment or send an email to acorbett@mainstreetconnect.us .

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