As previously reported, Mickey Peabody, a local activist, volunteer and overall busy woman traveled to the State Capitol as a member of the California Senior Legislature (CSL) representing Stanislaus County as a senior senator to attend the annual session of the CSL, held in Sacramento.
Peabody returned from her trip not quite victorious but definitely not defeated as she plans to lobby for an endorsement from a local politician to take her proposal back to the Senate.
“It didn’t make the top 10 but hopefully, we’ll find a local politician who is sympathetic to senior issues,” Peabody said.
Many of the issues that did make the top 10 were focused on taxes, she added.
Peabody’s proposal, coauthored by senior assembly member Billie Taylor, would require a patient advocate or Ombudsman to be present in a skilled nursing facility when any Power of Attorney is signed.
In spite of the minor setback, Peabody’s eyes still glowed from the experience of sitting in what she called “the seat of power.”
She shared, “It’s truly a huge job for our elected officials. It gives you a perspective that the common person never experiences. It’s simply awesome. It makes you want to tell everyone how important it is to vote.”
Peabody said she slipped her business card into the desk where she sat during the special session with a little note of thanks scrawled on the back.
While she may not have come away achieving her immediate goal, Peabody returned with a renewed sense of hope.
“I came away this time more hopeful that we are going to recover from this financial crisis,” she said. “It’s not always like this. Two years ago I came away frightened for our country and the state. But I feel we won’t go any further into the abyss we’ve fallen into. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel…and it’s not a train!”
Still, Peabody said as a reminder, “People need to take the time to educate themselves and elect people who best represent their personal interests.”
Among the top 10 state legislative proposals were:
• SP-20 Senior Senator Eaton: Property Tax Exemptions. This proposal increases the homeowner’s property tax exemption from $7,000 to $27,000 for seniors.
• AP-24 Senior Assembly Member Krohn: Elder Abuse Prevention. This proposal removes the sunset date from the elder abuse prevention provisions of the Financial Elder Abuse Reporting ACT of 2005.
• AP-23 Senior Assembly Member Lopes: Home Sale Capital Gain Exclusion. This proposal conforms California Tax Law to Federal Law extending the $500,000 capital gain exclusion for home sales for two years after a spouse’s death for a widow(er) 60 or older.
• AP-20 Senior Assembly Member Lucero: Hearing Aid Availability and Cost. This proposal requires that hearing aids be made available for over-the counter sales and vendors be encouraged to submit a plan to the Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau.
The top four Federal legislative proposals were:
• AFP-8 Senior Assembly Member Lopes: Medical Expense Tax Deductions. This proposal allows persons 60 and older to fully deduct all medical expenses.
• AFP-11 Senior Assembly Member Lopes: Income Tax on Social Security Benefits. This proposal eliminates all income taxes on the total amount of Social Security Benefits for persons 65 or older.
• SFP- 4 Senior Senator Mack: Capital Gains Tax on Sale of Senior Residence. This proposal eliminates Capital Gains Tax on the sale of principle residences of seniors 65 and older.
• SFP-8 Senior Senator Hartmann: Tire Safety Identification. This proposal requires tire manufacturers to clearly label tires with month and year of manufacture and include the info on sales receipts.