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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

AARP-AZ applauds Gov. Hobbs for long-term care policy priorities

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Wednesday, January 24, 2024   

According to AARP Arizona, Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs is "spot on" with the policy improvements she says she'll prioritize for Arizona's long-term care facilities in this year's legislative session. Hobbs outlined her priorities in her State of the State address.

Brendon Blake, director of advocacy with AARP Arizona, said his organization wants to see what he calls a "bipartisan consensus," to improve the state's long-term care system through strengthening licensing and enforcement policies, improving quality of care and enhancing reporting processes.

"Regardless of what people's political beliefs are, I think we can all agree that if facilities are acting badly, then those facilities should be punished accordingly or put on a corrective action," Blake said. "Maybe they just don't have the training or the resources in figuring out, what are some solutions?"

Blake argued the status quo for long-term care right now is unacceptable and his organization is calling for better access to data about what happens inside Arizona's assisted living facilities, plus better protections for residents, and an easier process for people to determine the 'good' and 'bad' actors in selecting long-term care.

Blake said ensuring accountability and transparency is paramount, and added the recently introduced House Bill 2653 would require assisted-living facilities to report what happens behind closed doors. He said, for instance, they are required to have what's known as a fall prevention plan, but are not required to track the number of falls that actually take place.

"Our legislation will try to require them to report falls that happen in their facility, or when they reach out to the outside world for help," he said. "So, say they need to call 911 for an emergency - we think those kinds of things should be reported. We don't want it to be over burdensome, but we also think we just need more reporting requirements in place."

Blake said AARP's view is that more reporting requirements are needed to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.

Disclosure: AARP Arizona contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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