abc
QUICK LINKS:

Snyder Announces Initiatives for Michigan Seniors

Updated: 06/02/2014 8:30 PM
Created: 06/02/2014 8:29 PM WDIO.com
By: EMMA FIDEL, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New initiatives to improve services for Michigan seniors will include a "one-stop shop" website for aging information, Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday.

The Republican governor, whose re-election bid depends in part on appealing to senior voters, said he wants the four state agencies that serve the growing population to collaborate to increase efficiency.

The website, he said, will improve access to state services and provide guidance for things such as retirement planning by early 2015.

"Ensuring that more older adults have the opportunity to be healthy, independent and productive individuals in age-friendly communities that support their needs will be critical as the state plans for the future," Snyder said in the Detroit suburb of Rochester.

"The simple truth is Michigan has more work to do to prepare for its aging population."

Roughly one in four Michigan residents will be at least 60 years old by 2030, Snyder said. And people age 85 and up comprise the fastest-growing segment of Michigan's population.

In the prepared version of his eighth special message to the Legislature, Snyder asked lawmakers on Monday to approve about $20 million in additional funding for senior services in his 2015 budget, including $1 million to address elder abuse and $5 million for programs such as Meals on Wheels. The Senate and House budgets included similar funding; lawmakers are expected to finalize a budget this month.

State agencies will develop performance incentives for Michigan's 400 nursing homes, which house roughly 40,000 residents, Snyder said. Less than 30 percent of Michigan nursing homes have programs that give residents control of their schedules or activities, he said.

Snyder also announced pilot programs for improving dementia treatment and increasing seniors' participation in school volunteer programs.

Democrats, including gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer, have criticized Snyder for eliminating an exemption on certain retirement income after taking office in 2011.

Public pensions that had been exempt from state taxes and other retirement income that had been partially exempt is now taxed as regular income for those born after 1945 - with the exception of Social Security payments and military pensions. Exemptions can be claimed for up to $20,000 for a single filer and up to $40,000 for joint filers.

Snyder said Democrats' characterization of the 2012 change as a "pension tax" is incorrect and that he tried to "clean up our tax code."

"What we did was is to say, you shouldn't pay tax simply because you have a certain type of retirement income," Snyder said.

Schauer said Monday he would start his term as governor "by getting rid of Snyder's pension tax."

Jacqueline Morrison, Michigan director for the AARP, said the organization opposes the tax but is not actively working on the issue. She said she was "encouraged" by Snyder's proposals, especially efforts to increase job opportunities for seniors.

"Many of the members who are short financially are looking for work, looking for ways to replace that lost revenue," she said.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Front Page

  • Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener

    The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt....

  • MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000

    Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.

  • Wisconsin Gun Deer Hunt Begins

    The season opened as the sun rose Saturday and will run through Nov. 30. Forecasts for opening weekend called for freezing rain and fog with highs ranging from the upper 30s to the low 40s both days.

  • Superior Police: Officer's Use of Force Justified

    The Superior Police Department says an internal investigation has found an officer's use of force was justified in an arrest seen on a controversial dashcam video.  However, the officer was given a 10-hour unpaid suspension for "vulgar and unprofessional" communication during the arrest.

  • Johnston Investigation Concludes Five Allegations Substantiated

    An investigation into allegations that a Duluth school board member threatened the district's superintendent and other board members concludes that five of six claims are warranted. A 67-page report details the allegations against school board member Art Johnston released to Eyewitness News on Friday.

 

Dense Fog Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Price
Expires: 11/23/2014 6:00 AM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement