Governor Gray Davis - Digital Library
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Opportunity for all Californians: Seniors

Governor Davis has worked hard to allow older Californians to live happier, healthier, and more hopeful lives. He has increased funding for nursing homes, alternatives to nursing homes, prescription drug discounts, housing programs and transportation services.

In September 2000, Governor Davis demonstrated his commitment to California's seniors by signing into law the landmark Aging with Dignity Initiative. By enacting comprehensive reforms of California's long-term care facilities and expanding independent living options, this historic initiative has improved the quality of life for our older generation.

Even in tough economic times, Gov. Davis will not forfeit California's commitment to vital senior programs.

Health Care
• Made California the first state in the nation to allow Medicare enrollees to simply show their Medicare card and receive the Medi-Cal discount for prescription drugs. In 2002, the Governor made this program permanent.

• Extended Medi-Cal benefits to 98,000 more seniors and disabled individuals.

• Signed legislation requiring pharmacies to establish programs to prevent prescription drug errors.

• Enacted strongest-in-America coverage for cancer clinical trials, expanded coverage for screening and doubled funding for prostate and breast cancer treatment.

• Extended coverage for hospice care.

• Set higher standards for Alzheimer's care facilities.

• Signed the CA Integrated Elder Care and Involvement Act (2002) giving seniors and caregivers a single point of contact for state and local resources.

• Established the nation's first nursing staff-to-patient ratios to improve quality of care and help meet nursing workforce needs.

Long-Term Care
• Established one of the nation's strongest nursing home staffing standards.

• Strengthened state authority over nursing facilities: increased fines for violations and rewarded well-run facilities.

• Provided $500 long-term care tax credits for those caring for seniors at home.

• Increased wages for In-Home Supportive Services caregivers.
Senior Tax Relief
• Increased by 150 percent the Senior Citizens Property Tax and the Renters Tax Assistance Programs on a one-time basis in 2000, benefiting 161,000 senior property owners and 488,000 renters. In 2001, the payments for both programs were permanently increased by 45 percent over the 1999 level.

Consumer Protections
• Protected seniors from predatory lending practices.

Fighting Age Discrimination
• Outlawed age discrimination in employer training programs.

Elder Abuse
• Authorized counties to institute interagency review teams to identify and review elder abuse and neglect cases.

• Increased training for law enforcement handling elder abuse cases.

• Clarified the definition of financial abuse to further protections under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Civil Protection Act.

• Provided additional tools for the investigation and prosecution of elder abuse crimes.

• Clarified the law authorizing the warrantless arrest of a relative or legal guardian who assaults or batters a person over the age 65.