Author Archive for ECC Admin

The DEQ’s Division of Coastal Management is adjusting jurisdictions

MOREHEAD CITY — The Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management is adjusting jurisdictions for its four regulatory district offices, effective July 1.

Division of Coastal Management offices. Image: NCDEQ

DEQ said the changes are to better keep up with the growing population of the coast, which is causing a shift in the workload for coastal development permits.

During the past decade, while most of the 20 coastal counties lost population, Brunswick County has been the state’s fastest growing county with 21% growth. Other coastal counties experiencing growth are Pender at 16.3%, New Hanover at 11.8%, Currituck at 11.2% and Dare at 6.2%.

Ongoing hurricane recovery efforts and increased development activity have also impacted district workloads.

Those seeking Coastal Area Management Act, or CAMA, permits should note the altered districts, which will be adjusted as follows:

  • The Elizabeth City District Office jurisdiction will continue to include Currituck, Dare, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, and Gates counties, and will additionally Hertford and Bertie counties.
  • The Washington District Office jurisdiction will continue to include Tyrrell, Washington, Beaufort, and Hyde Counties, and will additionally include Pamlico County.
  • The Morehead City District Office jurisdiction will continue to include Carteret and Craven Counties, and will additionally include all of Onslow County, except Surf City.
  • The Wilmington District Office jurisdiction will continue to include Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender Counties, including all of Surf City.

The division is responsible for permitting and enforcement, CAMA land-use planning, public beach and waterfront access, North Carolina Coastal Reserves and administers a grant program to make marine sewage pump-out stations available to more boaters.

Those who have questions about coastal development permits can find contact information on the website.

Flood Insurance: Protecting Consumers & Agents

RALEIGH — The state Department of Insurance is offering for free five conferences across the state to help the public as well as insurance and real estate agents learn more about the need to purchase flood insurance, regardless of where the home or business is located.

Conferences will be held next month in New Bern, Raleigh, Bolivia, Jamestown and Boone.

Flooding from Hurricane Florence devastated thousands of residents last year who didn’t have flood insurance because they relied on their homeowners’ policy, which does not cover damage from rising water, according to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, or NCDOI.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is adding this year an incentive for insurance agents to attend the conference, “Flood Insurance: Protecting Consumers and Agents,” by offering free continuing education course credits. Real estate agents have also been approved to receive free CE credit.

The flood insurance conference will include NCDOI Chief Deputy Commissioner Dr. Michelle Osborne, flood insurance specialist Charlotte Hicks and FEMA officials that will discuss the modernization of flood maps, which will help residents that could not purchase flood coverage because of its cost, and discuss the differences between policy coverage.

“Flood Insurance: Protecting Consumers and Agents” will be held at the following locations:

  • New Bern: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 18 Craven County Community College , Orringer Auditorium, 800 College Court. Register online by July 12.
  • Raleigh: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.July 24, Wake Technical Community College, WakeMed Raleigh Campus, Perry Health Sciences Campus Facility
    2901 Holston Lane. Register online by July 19.
  • Bolivia: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. July 25, Brunswick Community College, Odell Williamson Auditorium, 150 College Road. Register online by July 19.
  • Jamestown: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 13, Guilford Technical Community College – Medlin Room 008, 601 East Main St. Register online by Aug. 8.
  • Boone: 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Sept. 18, Appalachian State University, Brantley Risk and Insurance Center, 3053 Peacock Hall. Register online by Sept. 13.

For more information, contact Tricia Ford at Tricia.Ford@ncdoi.gov.

Dementia Friend Information Session

Modernization of the Older Americans Act Amendments

Modernization of the Older Americans Act Amendments

 

TITLE I—MODERNIZING DEFINITIONS AND PROGRAMS UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION ON AGING

 

Sec.101.Reauthorization.

Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title II programs.

 

Sec.102.Aging and Disability Resource Centers.

Encourages Aging and Disability Resource Centers to collaborate with Centers for Independent

Living and other aging or disability entities.

 

Sec.103.Assistive technology.

Modernizes the Older Americans Act to ensure programs consider and coordinate with State

assistive technology programs authorized by the Assistive Technology Act of 1998.

 

Sec.104.National Resource Center for Women and Retirement.

Codifies the National Resource Center for Women and Retirement. The Center provides basic

financial management, retirement planning and other educational tools that promote financial literacy and help identify and prevent fraud and elder exploitation for women.

 

Sec.105.Evidence-based program adaptation.

Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to provide technical assistance on how to deliver

evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion programs for different populations in a variety of different settings, such as in local communities and rural areas.

 

Sec.106.Coordination with Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to coordinate with the Assistant Secretary for Mental

Health and Substance Use and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in implementing suicide prevention activities for older individuals.

 

Sec.107.Modernizing the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Healthy Aging and Age- Friendly Communities.

Modernizes the existing Interagency Coordinating Committee on healthy aging and includes

supporting age-friendly communities as part of the activities and recommendations of the Committee.

 

Sec.108.Report on social isolation.

Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to review existing programs under the Older

Americans Act to determine if and how such programs are adequately addressing greatest social need and make recommendations on ways to improve how programs address negative impacts associated with social isolation for older individuals.

 

Sec.109.Business partnerships.

Clarifies grantees ability to engage in business partnerships with private entities, and, at the

 

request of grantees, directs the Assistant Secretary for Aging to provide technical assistance for developing and establishing business partnerships.

 

Sec.110.Notification of availability of or updates to policies, practices, and procedures through a uniform e-format.

Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to regularly update State agencies, area agencies on

aging, and service providers on the availability of, or updates to, policies, practices and procedures through electronic format.

 

Sec.111.Family caregivers.

Extends the authorization for the RAISE Family Caregivers Act from 3 years to 8 years.

 

Sec.112.Innovation, demonstration, and evaluation within aging programs.

Modernizes the evaluation of the Older Americans Act programs. Ensures the Secretary reviews,

coordinates, and streamlines the evaluation of existing Older Americans Act programs to assess the impact of the existing programs on older individuals’ or caregivers’ health and on health care spending. Ensures the Secretary will also measure future demonstration projects’ impact on reducing health care spending and their ability to maintain or improve quality of care. Requires the Secretary to prepare and submit to Congress a 5 year evaluation plan of all the Older Americans Act programs by December 1, 2020 and every fifth year thereafter. This section also renames Title IV of the Older Americans Act to Innovation, Demonstration, and Evaluation Within Aging Programs.

 

TITLE II—IMPROVING GRANTS FOR STATE AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS ON AGING

 

Sec.201.Reauthorization.

Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title III programs.

 

[Sec.202.Hold harmless.]

 

Sec.203.Maintenance of effort for State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. Updates the maintenance of effort funding provisions for State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program.

 

Sec.204.Senior legal hotlines.

Recognizes the practice of statewide senior legal hotlines for purposes of supporting and

providing legal assistance for older individuals and requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to submit a report with information on existing statewide senior legal hotlines and recommendations to Congress three years after enactment.

 

Sec.205.Increase in limit on use of allotted funds for State administrative costs.

Updates the cap for state administrative costs from the 1992 level of $500,000 to $750,000.

 

Sec.206.Improvements to nutrition programs.

Makes improvements to nutrition programs. Encourages states to work with area agencies on

 

aging to reduce the administrative burden for transferring funds between nutrition programs for congregate and home-delivered meals. Defines ‘nutrition service provider’ and makes conforming edits.

 

Sec.207.Younger onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Recognizes and clarifies existing authority to provide services to those with Alzheimer’s disease

at any age.

 

Sec.208.Cost sharing and Other Practices.

Requires a GAO study on practices regarding contracting, cost-sharing, waivers, and voluntary

contributions for programs authorized under the Older Americans Act, and the impacts of those practices on older individuals’ access to those programs.

 

Sec.209.Nutrition services study.

Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to review existing policies and practices for

measuring the number of meals provided under the programs and the number of meals in demand, and make recommendations on the most successful ways of capturing this data.

 

Sec.210.National Family Caregiver Support program.

Makes improvements to the National Family Caregiver Support program. Defines ‘caregiver

assessment,’ and updates the support services to ensure that these services take into consideration information received from such assessments. Removes the ten percent funding cap for older relative caregivers. Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to identify best practices for caregiver assessments. Allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award funds for activities of national significance that improve support provided to caregivers, including for program evaluation, training, technical assistance, and research. Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to provide technical assistance on how to promote and implement caregiver assessments. Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to report to Congress on the use of caregiver assessments, how to improve them, and how to further their use.

 

TITLE III—MODERNIZING ACTIVITIES FOR HEALTH, INDEPENDENCE, AND LONGEVITY

 

Sec.301.Reauthorization.

Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title IV and Title V programs.

 

Sec.302.Technical assistance and innovation to improve transportation for older individuals.

Modernizes and improves an existing transportation grant program to enhance the aggregation,

availability, and accessibility of information on options for transportation services for older individuals, including through contemporary forms of transportation and technology such as on- demand transportation services.

 

Sec.303.Grant program for multigenerational collaboration.

Improves an existing grant program for multigenerational collaboration to place an emphasis on

grant funding for the direct services of these projects, including projects that locate programs for

 

older and younger individuals in the same facility.

 

Sec.304.Grants for health, independence, and longevity.

Allows grantees to use funds under section 411 for planning the placement of volunteers in

communities to assist family caregivers, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities in maintaining independence by providing non-medical care.

 

 

 

[TITLE IV—ENHANCING GRANTS FOR NATIVE AMERICANS]

[Committee plans to review Title VI programs and provide language for updating and enhancing these programs.]

 

Sec.401.Reauthorization.

Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title VI programs.

 

TITLE V—MODERNIZING ALLOTMENTS FOR VULNERABLE ELDER RIGHTS PROTECTION ACTIVITIES AND OTHER PROGRAMS

 

Sec.501.Reauthorization; vulnerable elder rights protection activities.

Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title VII programs.

 

Sec.502.Minimum allotments for ombudsman and elder abuse programs.

Modernizes the minimum funding allotments for the ombudsman and elder abuse programs by

changing years from “2000” to “2019.”

 

Sec.503.Volunteer State long-term care ombudsman representatives.

Clarifies that volunteer ombudsman representatives can be reimbursed for costs incurred through

their service, such as transportation costs.

 

Sec.504.Prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Updates elder justice activities to include community outreach and education as part of the

multidisciplinary efforts. Ensures innovative projects capture programs and materials for developing partnerships in communities.

 

Sec.505.Best practices for home and community-based ombudsmen.

Updates the best practices for home and community-based ombudsmen.

 

Sec.506.Senior home modification assistance initiative.

Requires a GAO study on federal programs for home modification assistance for older

individuals and individuals with disabilities.

n4a Responds to Senate Draft OAA Reauthorization Bill

n4a Responds to Senate Draft OAA Reauthorization Bill

June 18, 2019

Earlier this month, the bipartisan working group consisting of members from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and Aging Committees released a draft bill that would reauthorize the Older Americans Act, Modernization of the Older Americans Act Amendments. As noted in n4a’s June 6 Legislative Update, the working group requested rapid response from advocates to provide feedback and technical assistance on the draft bill. Because the reauthorization process has been moving quickly in the Senate, advocates had an abbreviated timeframe to respond to the bipartisan draft.

n4a was one of many national, state and local stakeholders to submit comments on the draft bill. However, we expect that working group members will thoughtfully consider and incorporate n4a’s member-informed feedback because of the integral role that Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American aging programs serve in deploying OAA services across the country.

While the Senate OAA working group limited the proposals in the draft reauthorization bill to modest changes that could garner bipartisan support, n4a provided comments and technical assistance on nearly all proposals included in the draft with the goal of strengthening the final bill. The Senate has yet to tackle more difficult, and potentially contentious, issues such as specific funding authorization levels and the geographically challenging, population-based federal funding formula for OAA programs (note: n4a does not take positions on funding formula details), so there are still many components of the reauthorization that lawmakers must work through.

n4a’s Response to the Senate’s Draft Bill

n4a supports the working group’s bipartisan, inclusive process and appreciates that left out of the draft were several proposals that we felt strongly would undermine the ability of AAAs and service providers to efficiently and effectively deliver OAA services, including a proposal from the Trump Administration that would eliminate the “right of first refusal” for local governments to serve as AAAs. Simply keeping those harmful proposals out of the bill is a significant advocacy win!

n4a also supports several of the proposals in the working group’s draft as written, including:

  • a simple update to the definition of Aging and Disability Resource Centers;
  • an extension of the authorization for the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, passed in 2018 to develop a national strategy to support family caregivers; and
  • the modernization of technical assistance efforts to improve transportation access for older adults.

While n4a had feedback on many issues outlined in the draft bill, we prioritized our comments to include proposals that were relevant to our OAA reauthorization priorities, as well as those that may have some unintended consequences for the Aging Network. n4a provided feedback on proposals that would:

  • Clarify the ability of AAAs to contract with health care providers and other private payers. n4a is not opposed to the language in the draft, but it does not address the issues that n4a raised in our reauthorization priorities.
  • Mandate that AAAs coordinate with state assistive technology programs, which we believe is beyond the scope of the coordinating and planning roles of AAAs.
  • Add a specific reference in the Act to senior legal hotlines as an authorized component of legal services. n4a is concerned that including this specific reference could be misinterpreted as congressional prioritization of statewide senior legal hotlines.
  • Encourage states to work with AAAs to streamline the transfer process between Title III C home-delivered and congregate nutrition programs. n4a supports the intent of this provision but we believe it isn’t specific enough to be effective.
  • Study and expand the use of caregiver assessments and eliminate the Title III E cap for kinship care. n4a supports the proposal to allow AAAs to use additional III E funding for adults age 55 and older who are raising relative children.
  • Modernize the research, demonstration and evaluation efforts authorized under Title IV of the OAA. We appreciate that the working group prioritized this effort, but are concerned that without additional investments, these activities would be burdensome to AoA.
  • Study both the negative effects of social isolation and the unmet need in Title III C Nutrition Services. n4a supports the intents both studies have, but suggested changes to better reflect the activities of the Aging Network or capture the broader unmet need for all OAA services.

Overall the Senate working group’s draft OAA reauthorization bill requires several studies and reports on various components of service delivery, including the status of caregiver assessment activity, home modification programs for older adults, and cost-sharing activities within the Act.

Next Steps for Aging Advocates

Key staff and Senators will review stakeholder feedback on the draft bill and work with advocates to address issues. Senators will also have to work through potentially controversial issues such as authorization levels and the funding formula over the next few weeks. n4a will update our members as these discussions progress.

On the House side, n4a is having frequent conversations with committee leaders, answering questions and providing initial feedback on preliminary policy ideas, while also educating committee staff on the Act. We expect the House activity to pick up in the next month.

In the meantime, advocates should continue to educate their Members of Congress in both the House and the Senate about the importance of OAA programs and the need to reauthorize. Aging advocates should continue using the advocacy tools and resources available online in n4a’s OAA Reauthorization Toolkit at www.n4a.org/OAA.

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This Legislative Update is an n4a membership benefit. For more information about these and other federal aging policy issues, please contact n4a’s policy team: Amy Gotwals (agotwals@n4a.org) and Autumn Campbell (acampbell@n4a.org), 202.872.0888.

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