Current state legislation on pensions and retirement, including state taxation of retirement
income, is available in a searchable database hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. You can search 2012-2016
pensions and retirement bills by topic, primary author, state, bill number, status or keyword. The database, made possible
by support of The Pew Charitable Trusts, is updated frequently.
These are some of the several issues that are hitting the Colorado voters and
the Legislature took a look at the growing number of seniors in our state. They realized that they did not have all the facts
about needs and services. They voted to set up the Strategic
Action Planning Group on Aging. The group is assigned
to study the impacts both positive and negative of this demographic shift. They are to report on November 30 of 2016, 2018
and a final report in 2020. Governor Hickenlooper appointed 23 voting members. Jim Riesberg, former Commissioner of Insurance
for the Colorado Division of Insurance, was elected to chair the committee.
They are looking at transportation and housing needs.
Other issues are Services as well as training for a workforce to support the seniors and as well as work opportunities for
the seniors themselves. Health care is also being looked at with urban and rural services along with transportation. Long
term care and communities services and availability are also on the list. Retirement security and its effect on the whole
family with financial security could also hit the state with additional cost. If we retire in poverty, we often wind up costing
the taxpayer more money. We would be asking for food, housing, transportation, and Medicaid.
My thought is that we want to take the best and least costly path for our group into the future.
To find out more about what is going on with the strategic plan, go to www.colorado.gov/agingstrategy.
To sign up to participate in committee work, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings are in Denver and are open to the public.
There is a conference dial in number: (712) 432-0360 Access Code 216470 that you can reach all over the state.
All over the country legislatures and voters are seeing a subject on their lists
that they are very uncomfortable with and that is the; ‘right to die’. We have had a few bills on this subject
here in Colorado. All of them have died in committee. The legislators don’t want a
‘yes’ vote on their record. They can't seem to come up with language on a bill that satisfies enough people to
pass a bill. I suspect that it will wind up on the ballot where it should be. This is much too personal an issue for others
to decide for the public. When religion, freedom, liberty and ethics come together, it is very difficult. How many of us would
want to vote on this issue if we were in the legislature?
Another issue hitting all over the country, as well as here in Colorado, is affordable housing. Rents and house prices
are going up so fast that they are eating up most wages. This also hits the senior population because we may want to move
into smaller housing or move to be closer to loved ones. If we are renting the landlord can send us one of those letters that
may hit us with a rent increase we cannot pay. The legislature has no idea what to do because this is mostly a free-market
issue. They cannot go and tell landlords or house sellers to lower prices. We have so many people moving to Colorado and needing
housing that there isn't a crack in the rise of prices. One of the factors in housing cost is the large quantity of millennials
moving into the ‘front range’ and other parts of Colorado. We have a booming economy and they are here to snap
up the jobs.
We have all heard stories about the horrible increase in prescription
drug prices. There was a bill in the state legislature this year to ask drug manufacturers to explain to the state the justification
for the price of any drug that costs more than $50,000 a year per prescription. Kaiser Permanente was a main lobbyist for
that bill. I asked their lobbyist how many drugs there are that cost that much. He said that there are about ninety. Our insurance
companies all pay for this. This bill also died in committee. Pharma says that they need to ask those prices to justify research,
but the truth is, there is very little competition to drive down prices.