LEGISLATIVE WATCH: The latest scoop on senior bills

We need to play catch-up on bills at the Legislature that impact our seniors and offer you the opportunity to reply.

Last week Assembly Bill 305 was heard, a bill which levels penalties for all age groups for crimes committed against the elderly or other vulnerable persons. This bill removes the misdemeanor penalty for a first time offense. We supported this bill because it included nursing home and assisted living staff, whereas before the bill did not. We felt that these staff persons should be treated the same as everyone else as they are responsible for hundreds of seniors.

Also heard last week was Senate Bill 245, an alert system for missing elderly persons. It ran into trouble because it was built upon the "Amber Alert" system for abducted children, which involves a criminal act. Proponents and opponents met and came to a compromise so it should now move forward.

You can go online to review any of these bills in their entirety by going to the legislative home page - www.leg.state.nv.us, clicking on the "Session Info" on the top left, then "76th Session," and then "bill information."

If you want to send legislators an opinion on any bill, go to the legislative home page again, and on the right hand side, half-way down, click on "Sharing Your Opinion on Legislative Bills."

If you want to watch a committee hearing about a bill you are interested in, click on "Listen or View" at the top right of the legislative home page. The agenda and all the bills being heard that day are listed under each committee for easy review. You'll note that they are also listed by date and time.

The Legislature in Carson City is beginning to move these bills along quickly, and as they do, we will keep you updated on the more critical ones to our seniors' welfare so that you can reply. Let's hope that saner heads prevail in this session so that we can move forward to help our economy and our people. This state must find a new source of revenue and you can only cut services so far and then you create chaos that costs much more in the long run and hurts our citizens in multiple ways.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you that phoned, emailed and wrote to Congressman Heller in response to my column on H.R.1. It made a huge difference because of your outrage at the bill doing away with volunteer programs that provide so much to needy persons. We still have a ways to go; however, together we shall prevail. See you next week!

• Janice Ayres is president of Nevada Senior Corps Association.


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