Executive Board Meeting Minutes

Kansas Silver Hair Legislative Executive Board Meeting

Junction City July 27-2022

Ross Boelling is excused and Jay Rowh is acting in place for Ross. Kelsey Pfannenstiel from North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging is on zoom helping with it, he thanks her for her help. Meeting is called to order at 10:05 by Jay, Jay is also our Speaker Pro Tem. He tells us all that the meeting is for the Ex-Board to go over those issues emailed to him and then for Randall (Speaker of the House) to take to Topeka. He reminds everyone that the issues can only be voted on by Ex-Board members only. Jay explains to us that Ross has had to resign from his position and that Don Woodard (Chair PSA4 and past Speaker of the House) has medical issues come back up himself. It would be nice if cards be sent to each for well wishes and positive outcomes. The membership list going out will have addresses on it.

A Finance report has been emailed/sent in for this meeting (Donna asks that she have a copy for records) and that we have around $4,000.00 in our funds. Seems some donations have come in.

Jay notes we have around 18 here in person and around 20 some on by zoom, Seems we are having a lot more interest in our organization now days. Kansas budget has an excess, so things might change for our Kansas Seniors. Jay discusses the issues that were sent/emailed into him. Some were 1 time issues and several were issues that we’ve had in the past. Jay acknowledges Michelle from the Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging and Kelsey who is helping with the zoom.

At 10:15 Jay turns the meeting over to Randall Hardy, Speaker of the House. He speaks about COVID and the problems our seniors have had with the results of COVID. He speaks about the issues that were brought forth last year in the Salina meeting. Some issues were successful and some not so. Last year we narrowed it down to seven (7) issues = SHL 3901 – issue was to expand Medicaid, changing the age group. When talking to legislators in Topeka, it was turned down on the changing of age groups. So his plan would be still to allow it to expand but it seems the “D”s are against it. SHL 3902 – Wireless Broadband, there are no Bills out there to help work this issue. There’s a Transportation Bill and on the National level there’s a Bill out there that might produce Grants to help on this. Fixed wireless internet that’s out there, by AT&T. Randall explains some of what’s available on this. “Randall tells us he’s running for a Saline County Commissioner  position”. SHL 3903 – KPERS, so from some receivables on some past changes, those changes have produced an overage in some budgets. So some of those changes have allowed the extra’s on budget to be moved over to help fully fund KPERS. A COLA was not received as well of a reception and the funding for KPERS stands but not the COLA. SHL 3904 – Community Based Transportation, Randall speaks of the transportation service in his area. When he was in his past position he says there’s Grants out there and that we should make them aware of them in areas of concern. SHL 3505 – SB 76 was included into another Bill and was passed into law. He speaks of the portion of property tax changed – removed. But it/he doesn’t talk about the food tax removal. SHL 3906 – Medical Cannabis – he speaks on this issue, none of the Bills relating to this, but there are Bills that might pass in one house but not in the other on this issue. Mute at this point? SHL 3907 – lower the age of the grandparents Bill. Randall states this area has been taken over by the Federal Government. At the Federal level, it has NO AGE LIMIT. So this issue has basically already been worked at the Federal level.

Randall opens the floor up for Q & A – it’s asked – who notifies the County of age in order to qualify for the Tax break. A = the requirements are a senior has to have a home value UNDER 350K and an INCOME of less than 50K. Part of the Homestead Act comes into play here and this portion of the tax break became effective July 1, 2022. Q = what happens when the value of the home goes down? A = you’d have to appeal. Will go against the cost of home owners insurance? Q = what happened to the portion of the FOOD tax? A = YES it will happen thanks to the extra budget (pushed out to Jan. 1,2023 by the R’s) The 3% decrease happens over time starting in Jan.1 and then 1% after that as long as the extra money is in the budget. Randall tells us that the States around Kansas DON’T charge taxes on food. Q = When will KPERS be fully funded? A = fully funded by 2022 but could happen sooner, Randall does not know the percentages. Q = Derek’s group says they want to eliminate taxes on pensions. A = Randall does not believe that will happen. He explains that as an elected official you have the ability to Pre-Bills and then bring it in to a committee after elections. Basically once you’ve seen how each side sets after the elections. Q = what was the reason for the age change on Medicaid? A = 60 -64 ages make too much to get this insurance but not enough of something else, left a person out of the equation. Thomas Gordon suggests that the change might look at including – specific health issues instead of age. A = he would explore it with the advisors he discusses the issue with.

10:51 and Jay’s back up – talks about how many Bills get introduced that don’t even go anywhere. Donna Lehane, Secretary is asked to call roll and does so. All the Chairs and or their designated alternate are here in person or by zoom, with a total of 36 to 38 in attendance for the meeting. Gary Scott has sent in the finance report – Jay to get Donna a copy. Jay asks that all PSA Chairs make any updates on their rosters. Paula (PSA 4) asks for an updated roster, Donna says she’ll email her that once she’s home.

11:00 and we’re now going to go over the many issues that were presented to us by all the PSA groups. Back to Randall to do the issues and he focuses on the issues that are critical to our seniors. Explains to us how he has approached the seven (7) most critical issues. He tries to be brief and to the point, not necessary to stick to the top 6 – 7 issues. Maybe we need to talk about the issues that are new to everyone, might get more attention. Q = Pauline suggests about the nursing home situation – electronically monitoring. A = a couple other issues are involves. Jan Kimbrell (a retired nurse) mentions the Association Boards, we ask for her to get us a list of those places. Randall says the Legislature needs to be aware of these issues. There’s a $192.00 a DAY allotted on nursing home care. Jan is on the Governor’s Task Force team and is preparing to turn in on August 24, 2022 the results of their issues they have found. State is looking to balance what’s going on with nursing homes and so that legislators get a full view of the problems. She sets on 3 sub-committees and she has a health care background. The issues vary across the State and the issues need to be address. Q = Allen Schmidt (on zoom) piggy backs on these comments. He tells us about some issues that address the fact that by 2026 there will be 74K open positions in nursing homes. He is a former State Senator and brother to Chuck Schmidt (past Speaker of the House and now a legislator for Dist 88).  PAY, COVID are the BIG issues regarding shortage of staff in nursing homes. When flipping burgers pays more than working in a nursing home creates pay an issue. And NOT the minimum wage issue that’s been brought up in legislation before. Q = PSA 8 issue – sales tax for the AAA agencies. Some agencies don’t have to pay taxes and some do, 3 counties are sales tax exempt – non food and 8 have to pay taxes. This issue should be a consideration.

Jay’s going to read through the issues. Thomas says that his group was under the impression we were supposed to bring forth only issues that address seniors at large? Jay does state that some of the issues are only to specific areas but shows the groups had great discussions in their groups.

Ross Boelling is here and would like to speak to the group. He gives the secretary Donna his written resignation and addresses the group. Ross tells us he has been diagnosed with early Dementia and wants to spend time with his family. He again tells us that through his efforts as President he was able to get KSHL back their 501 3C status. We thank him for that long process. He continues to go over the issues we are discussing and especially the ones that are only one issue only, not crossovers. We want to give our resident seniors the ability to stay in their homes. How can a county that only has 900 people in it sustain themselves these days. Those that are only one issue, should they need additional discussion, maybe later on.

Randall comes back up and asks for a show of hands on (1) Expansion of Medicaid – hands go up – YES keep it an issue. (2) Community based transportation – YES (3) Community based broadband – it’s not a D or R issue it’s an URBAN vs. RURAL issue. This issue to include internet availability and training, YES (4) Medical cannabis – use of it and producing it, would help from the tax sense – keep it to the medical side. YES. Discussed the issue of ROBO, scams, crank calls – Federal issue and Jay tells us that the Federal Government has put a stop to the robo calls on auto warranty’s, those are to stop. Calls coming in from outside the United States will stop, but it’s mentioned they then get phone numbers from within States.

It’s brought up about packages and mail missing from your homes, Randal says that’s a Federal level item but you can go to USPS.COM and sign up for informed delivery. This will help on some of this problem.

It’s NOON and Jay calls for a break for lunch and tells us that lunch is a cost of $5.25. There’s a motion from the floor for the cost of lunch to be paid for out of our funds, it’s second and approved. Gary to write a check for our lunches and get it to the senior center. Break for lunch and to resume our meeting around 1:00pm.

Meeting is resumed at 12:52 with a question from Barbara Bunting on zoom. She asks if the issue of mental and physical health should be tied to our issues. It’s noted we’ve asked for a copy from Jan about the Task Force report (after it’s approved on Aug. 24/25th this month) and at that time possibly address these issues. Monty Nielson on zoom agrees with Barbara’s suggestion.

Guest speaker Dan Goodman is here now, he’s Director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care and has handouts. Staffing to resident care is the biggest issue, especially on care to residents. Another 100 million would be needed to correct staffing issues. Allowed to “age in place” but when your needs change or your money runs out – you’re out the door. Usually it boils down to – when your money runs out! Charlie’s Bill (formerly HB 2004) allows you to appeal the process and there will probably be a fiscal note attached to this bill. There’s a need to generate interest on Charlie’s bill and it would be a stronger bill after it comes out of committee. Prior to 2013 – case management was available to ALL. Now with KANCARE, ELDERS, DISABILITY AND BRAIN INJURIES have LOST the ability to appeal. KANSAS RANKS 47TH IN HEALTH CARE and 26% of nursing homes are LOW Care. Community based care is failing. It starts off OK but goes downhill quickly. A lot of people are losing family and they are losing their health care workers. Case management needs to be brought back in ALL areas. There are 13,500 people on the FE (frail elderly), PD (physically disabled) and BI (brain injury) waivers in Kansas. By the end of 3 years – funds for 15k, there is match money for that 15K from the Federal level. Paying staffing better needs to be addressed to get and keep long term care staff. Surveys for nursing facilities are 36 months behind and some facilities are 5 years behind. KBEC has an annual meeting in September and we’d like to have groups associate with his group to help address issues. It’s noted to bring this up at our meeting in October for a possible do in year 2023.

Now 1:52 and we are back to our issues. (5) It’s discussed that Community based services are within the best interest to seniors, whether it be through the Senior Care Act (or Older American Act), it’s funded according to inflation.

In 2017 Brownback made cuts of 31% and it’s only been restored to 2004 levels.

KDOT transportation is supposed to put in each week on who, what, where are available – Jayhawk Dept of Aging or Senior Centers should have a listing?

(6) taxes on area Dept. of Aging taxation.

Promote ourselves on our own websites or Facebook.

Look into the legal services area and what’s available to us.

Paula (PSA 4) makes a motion to accept the six (6) proposals, what Jay/Randall have spoke about – Donna (PSA 2) 2nd. Motion is approved, these six issues will be what’s taken to our October legislation session.

Jay speaks to Thomas Gordon on Ross’s resignation. It was asked of Katy Hoffman if she would move up and was declined, which leaves Thomas as next in line. Thomas asks about the time frame he would hold the position. Jay tells him it would be from now till May of 2023 when we have our next election. The move up is according to our By Laws, Thomas accepts with Jay’s help.

Jay discusses our 2022 SHL Annual Session in Topeka as COVID is on an uptick again. There’s discussion on this and Jay said he’d do investing checks on places to stay, if we could even have our meeting in the Capitol and get back to us all. Possible zoom day would be October 5th and in person days would be October 4, 5 and 6th.

Motion to adjourn, 2nd – approved, now 2:48pm.

Minutes by Donna Lehane, Secetary Ex-Board.