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President Signs Older Americans Act Reauthorization into Law

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On Tuesday, April 19, President Obama signed S. 192, the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization, into law (P.L. 114-144). The Senate originally passed this legislation last year, and earlier this month approved an amended version passed by the House in March. The legislation includes many important provisions for local area agencies on aging (AAAs), 30 percent of which operate within a county government.

NACo supports the OAA reauthorization language, and commends the President and Congressional leaders for completing their work on this legislation. The bill authorizes OAA funding, appropriated through the Department of Health and Human Services, for the period from FY 2017 through FY 2019.

Most importantly, the OAA reauthorization boosts spending levels by about 7 percent over three years, according to the National Association of Areas on Aging (n4a), which will increase the resources available to local communities. OAA funding is passed to states, who are typically required to pass it on to local area agencies on aging (AAAs).

The reauthorization also includes new requirements for training on elder abuse prevention, provides for the development of a tool to assist consumers in selecting in-home care or community-based support services (such as nutrition and meal services), improves Aging and Disability Resource Center (ARDC) resources and coordination in providing information and referrals for home- and community-based services, provides technical assistance to senior centers, and requires “evidence-based” disease prevention and health promotion services. 

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