PRESS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
July 14, 2009
Contact: Kathryn Freeman, (512) 463-0126

Van de Putte and Naishtat Create the Legislative Committee on Aging

AUSTIN — Last Friday, Governor Perry signed into law House Bill (HB) 610, which creates the Legislative Committee on Aging. Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), the Senate sponsor, and Representative Elliott Naishtat (D-Austin), the House author, joined Governor Perry, along with former Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services Commissioner Jim Hine and members of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature and the AARP for the bill signing ceremony in Austin.

The Legislative Committee on Aging will be charged with studying specific issues facing the aging population in Texas, such as health care, transportation, housing, education and employment. HB 610 will help policymakers make informed decisions regarding the best use of resources by having information and recommendations from an executive-level committee dedicated to helping the state prepare for the needs and address the issues of the state's aging population.

"As baby boomers begin to reach retirement age and we continue to face economic uncertainty, it is critical for us to be proactive in developing policies that address the vulnerability of our aging population and provide services to improve their quality of life," said Senator Van de Putte. "The Legislative Committee on Aging will be a necessary component in an effective partnership between legislators, our community leaders and service providers to meet the needs of elderly Texans."

"The Legislative Committee on Aging will make recommendations in a report to the Legislature to address issues relating to the aging population. This will ensure coordination of services. Given the projected dramatic increase in Texans aged 65 and older in the coming years - 5.1 million by 2030 - establishing a committee that includes legislators and citizens to study and make recommendations is more than timely," Representative Naishtat said.

"On behalf of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature, I would like to thank Senator Van de Putte, Representative Naishtat and Governor Perry for their support of the Legislative Committee on Aging. This important committee will be essential in identifying and addressing the needs of the elderly in a variety of areas," said Homer Lear, Speaker Emeritus of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature.

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