Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This WeekPolicy Bits42616
April 25 –May 1, 2016
~ Karly Malpiede Andrus


Senate Passes Older Americans Act Reauthorization; On its Way to the President

  • The Senate unanimously approved reauthorization of the OAA, the key social safety net for seniors but it does not provide a dime to operate programs like Meals on Wheels, transportation services or assistance for caregivers. From 2010 – 2014the US population of 75 and older increased by 10% yet funding for all these programs fell from $2.3 billion to less than $1.9 billion during that same time period. http://goo.gl/BaXnfK
  • Local partners and community members rely on these resources and with an aging Baby Boomer population the OAA is needed more than ever, somehow we need to figure out how to properly resource these critical programs.


Colorado’s Budget is Settled but Debate Coming on Taxes and Refunds

  • The session ends on May 11th and this year’s $27 billion state budget has been set but the democrats are reviving a debate on whether a Medicaid fee would count as state revenue that will trigger TABOR refunds in future budget years. It’s a debate some thought was settled well before both chambers approved the budget but no so according to Speaker Hullinghorst who would like to reclassify the fee to provide flexibility in state budget negotiations for the next five years. The bill faces tough odds in the GOP-controlled Senate but given the timing could lend momentum to pending ballot initiatives to dismantle TABOR. http://goo.gl/cfw9CF
  • The state budget is critical to all of us and we are stronger if we understand these larger issues that could affect what that budget can look like in the near future as well.


A Digital Library for All Your Community-Building Needs

  • There’s a lot to consider the designing effective public space and the People’s Design Library aims to give neighbors the reins on public-space projects. This new resource, launched by the Texas non-profit buildingcommunityWORKSHOP makes it easier for community members to articulate what exactly they want from their public spaces and to give them the tools to accomplish that vision themselves. http://goo.gl/QFQDK5
  • This effort could be very helpful to local partners and community members as we explore these issues, especially as we strive to empower ourselves and our communities to understand and influence our public spaces.