senate Bill S2099

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Creates the senior benefits card program to enable and encourage seniors to purchase healthy and appropriate foods at a discounted price

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to aging
Apr 30, 2013 reported and committed to finance
Jan 10, 2013 referred to aging

Votes

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Apr 30, 2013 - Aging committee Vote

S2099
9
0
committee
9
Aye
0
Nay
2
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Aging Committee Vote: Apr 30, 2013

aye wr (2)

S2099 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2436
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Elder Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 2 Title 5 ยงยง260 - 263, Eld L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S2162, A3860
2009-2010: S2023, A1711

S2099 - Bill Texts

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Creates the senior benefits card program to enable and encourage seniors to purchase healthy and appropriate foods at a discounted price.

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BILL NUMBER:S2099

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the elder law, in relation to creating
the senior benefits card program

PURPOSE: To create a senior benefits card program that provides
discounts on healthy and appropriate foods and exercise for seniors.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill declares that access to healthy
foods and exercise can make a significant difference in the quality
and length of the life of seniors, and that the voluntary program
created by this act, with the education and outreach program
instituted by the State Office for the Aging, provides an effective
means of enlisting many parts of the society of the state of New York
in this effort, and of incentivizing the kind of cultural change and
support necessary to make the effort successful. This bill describes
four purposes:

1. to provide a discount card to seniors that will enable and
encourage them to purchase healthy and appropriate foods at a
discounted price, to dine for lower costs on healthy and appropriate
foods, and to join health clubs or obtain health and exercise services
at special rates;

2. to enlist voluntary participation in the program by restaurants,
markets, and other food-sellers, and health clubs and health and
exercise services;

3. to promulgate and widely advertise the benefits in health and
longevity of a regime of healthy diet and exercise for seniors; and

4. to engage seniors, their families, and friends, in a broad
voluntary effort to extend the quality of life and the longevity of
seniors.

REPORT ON SENIOR BENEFITS CARD PROGRAM: Requires SOFA to report to
the Governor and the Legislature within 120 days on the feasibility of
a senior benefits card program which involves voluntary participation
of markets, food sellers, restaurants, health clubs and other
appropriate entities in selling healthy and appropriate foods and
provides health club services to seniors at a discounted rate, upon
presentation of a senior benefits card, subject to the following
principles and parameters:

The program is to allow membership by any senior who pays a
participation fee.

The card is designed in a manner that allows addition in the future of
other programs such as food stamps, EPIC, Medicaid, the federal
pharmaceutical benefits program, and other programs that provide
benefits to seniors that use a card or card swipe to access benefits.

Presentation of the card entitles seniors to discounts for the
purchase of healthy and appropriate foods, with the director and the
advisory committee to determine the minimum discounts.


The program is operated by the office, or by an entity selected or
created by the office, whose board includes members of the public,
representatives of markets or supermarkets or food-sellers, persons
knowledgeable in healthcare and diet for seniors, representatives of
health clubs, and others to make the board representative of
interested parties in this state.

The program is administered by an entity selected by the office, or by
the operating entity and the office, subject to such conditions and
requirements as the office, after consultation with the director of
the division of the budget, shall require.

The office shall promulgate a list of healthy and appropriate foods
for which discounts shall be offered by participating markets,
supermarkets, food sellers, and others, as well as an appropriate
exercise regime that includes cardio-vascular and strength training.

The office is to develop and administer a broadly based advertising
and marketing campaign.

The office is to solicit grants and funding opportunities in
furtherance of the program from foundations, other governmental
agencies, and individuals, under such terms and conditions as the
office shall deem appropriate.

The report is to make recommendations concerning several issues
dealing with the program.

SENIOR BENEFITS CARD PROGRAM: If the director of the budget agrees
with the findings of the report, he informs the Governor, and directs
SOFA to take the steps required by this article, and others authorized
by this article that he may deem necessary and appropriate after
consultation with the advisory committee and investigation of issues
and concerns raised by participants. The director shall provide such
funds, within amounts available by appropriation therefore, as shall
be necessary to initiate and maintain the program.

ADVISORY COMMITTEE: The director is to convene an advisory committee
that includes representatives of markets or supermarkets or food
sellers, persons knowledgeable in healthcare and diet for seniors,
physicians, representatives of health clubs, and other advisors and
consultants, to aid in the development of the program, and the
promulgation of the list of healthy and appropriate foods, and to set
the minimum discounts required of participants for the purchase of
such foods or access to such health services.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT: If the director, after consultation with the
director of the division of the budget, shall determine that it is
desirable and beneficial to seniors to use the card to provide access
to other programs of benefit to seniors such as Medicaid, food stamps,
the federal pharmaceutical benefits program authorized pursuant to the
Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of
2003, and other such programs that utilize a card or card swipe to
access benefits, the director shall seek to reach agreements with
other necessary and appropriate entities to allow such utilization.


EDUCATION AND OUTREACH: The director shall conduct education and
outreach to promote the program and to encourage qualified persons and
entities to become participants and participating retailers, within
amounts appropriated therefor.

EXISTING LAW: None.

JUSTIFICATION: Researchers have pointed out for several years that
inappropriate diet and lack of exercise by seniors result in
preventable health complications This bill proposes a means to effect
voluntary change in the society of New York that will result in
greater quality of life and longevity for seniors, and will also
importantly result in a lower need for use of health care facilities
and services by seniors.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.3495 - 2005-06 - Aging S.322 - 2007-08 -
Referred to Aging, Reported and Committed to Finance S.2023 - 2009-10
- Referred to Aging S.2162 of 2012 - Referred to Aging

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: A healthy life-style with preventive measures
will provide savings to the State.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2099

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 10, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging

AN ACT to amend the elder law, in relation to creating the senior  bene-
  fits card program

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Legislative findings and purpose.  The  legislature  hereby
finds  and declares that access to healthy foods and exercise can make a
significant difference in the quality and length of the life of seniors,
and that the voluntary program created by this act, with  the  education
and  outreach  program instituted by the state office for the aging also
required in this act, provides an  effective  means  of  enlisting  many
parts  of  the  society  of the state of New York in this effort, and of
incentivizing the kind of cultural change and support necessary to  make
the effort successful.
  The legislature further declares that the purposes of this program are
first,  to  provide  a  discount  card  to  seniors that will enable and
encourage them to purchase healthy and appropriate foods at a discounted
price, to dine for lower costs on healthy and appropriate foods, and  to
join  health  clubs  or  obtain  health and exercise services at special
rates; second, to enlist  voluntary  participation  in  the  program  by
restaurants,  markets,  and  other  food-sellers,  and  health clubs and
health and exercise services; third, to promulgate and widely  advertise
the  benefits  in  health  and longevity of a regime of healthy diet and
exercise for seniors; and fourth, to engage seniors, their families, and
friends, in a broad voluntary effort to extend the quality of  life  and
the longevity of seniors.
  The  legislature  further  declares  that an additional purpose of the
program shall be to create greater efficiency and effectiveness  in  the
management  of  senior  health  issues by including access to such other

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05893-01-3

S. 2099                             2

appropriate programs as food stamps and EPIC  to  users  of  the  senior
benefits card.
  The  legislature  further finds and declares that actions taken by the
state office for the aging pursuant to the requirements  and  intent  of
this act are in every sense an appropriate public purpose undertaken for
the common good of the people of this state.
  S  2. Article 2 of the elder law is amended by adding a new title 5 to
read as follows:
                                  TITLE 5
                          SENIOR BENEFITS CARDS
SECTION 260. REPORT ON SENIOR BENEFITS CARD PROGRAM.
        261. DEFINITIONS.
        262. SENIOR BENEFITS CARD PROGRAM.
        263. EDUCATION AND OUTREACH.
  S 260. REPORT ON SENIOR BENEFITS CARD PROGRAM. 1. THE  DIRECTOR  SHALL
INVESTIGATE  AND REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF
THE BUDGET, THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF  THE
SENATE,  AND THE CHAIRPERSONS OF THE FISCAL, HEALTH AND AGING COMMITTEES
OF THE LEGISLATURE CONCERNING THE CREATION OF  A  SENIOR  BENEFITS  CARD
PROGRAM,  WHICH  SHALL  INVOLVE  THE VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION OF MARKETS,
FOOD SELLERS, RESTAURANTS, HEALTH CLUBS AND OTHER  APPROPRIATE  ENTITIES
IN  SELLING  HEALTHY  AND  APPROPRIATE  FOODS  AND PROVIDING HEALTH CLUB
SERVICES TO SENIORS AT A DISCOUNTED RATE, UPON PRESENTATION OF A  SENIOR
BENEFITS CARD, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES AND PARAMETERS:
  (A) THE PROGRAM SHALL ALLOW AND ENCOURAGE MEMBERSHIP BY ANY SENIOR WHO
SHALL PAY A PARTICIPATION FEE DETERMINED BY THE OFFICE.
  (B) THE CARD SHALL BE DESIGNED IN A MANNER THAT ALLOWS ADDITION IN THE
FUTURE OF OTHER PROGRAMS SUCH AS FOOD STAMPS, THE ELDERLY PHARMACEUTICAL
INSURANCE  COVERAGE  PROGRAM ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE, MEDI-
CAID, THE FEDERAL PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS PROGRAM AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO
THE MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG, IMPROVEMENT  AND  MODERNIZATION  ACT  OF
2003,  AND  OTHER  PROGRAMS  THAT PROVIDE BENEFITS TO SENIORS THAT USE A
CARD OR CARD SWIPE TO ACCESS BENEFITS.
  (C) PRESENTATION OF THE CARD SHALL ENTITLE THE SENIOR TO DISCOUNTS FOR
THE PURCHASE OF HEALTHY AND APPROPRIATE FOODS.   THE  DIRECTOR  AND  THE
BOARD  OF  THE  OPERATING  ENTITY,  OR  IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THE ADVISORY
COMMITTEE CONVENED BY HIM OR HER PURSUANT TO THIS TITLE SHALL  DETERMINE
THE MINIMUM DISCOUNT REQUIRED OF PARTICIPANTS. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS
TITLE  SHALL  PREVENT  A  PARTICIPATING  RETAILER  FROM  OFFERING DEEPER
DISCOUNTS FOR HEALTHY AND APPROPRIATE FOODS OR HEALTH SERVICES.
  (D) THE PROGRAM SHALL BE OPERATED BY THE OFFICE, OR  BY  AN  OPERATING
ENTITY  SELECTED  OR CREATED BY THE OFFICE, AND SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY
AN ADMINISTRATIVE ENTITY SELECTED BY THE OFFICE, OR BY  THE  OFFICE  AND
THE  OPERATING  ENTITY IF THE OFFICE SHALL SELECT OR CREATE AN OPERATING
ENTITY, SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS AS THE OFFICE, AFTER
CONSULTATION WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE  DIVISION  OF  THE  BUDGET,  SHALL
REQUIRE.
  (E)  IF  THE  OFFICE DOES NOT SELECT OR CREATE AN OPERATING ENTITY, IT
SHALL CREATE AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO AID IN MAKING DECISIONS CONCERNING
THE PROGRAM CREATED BY THIS TITLE.
  (F) THE OFFICE SHALL, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH APPROPRIATE  CONSULTANTS
AND  EXPERTS  AND  WITH  THE OPERATING ENTITY OR THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE,
PROMULGATE A LIST OF HEALTHY AND APPROPRIATE FOODS FOR  WHICH  DISCOUNTS
SHALL  BE  OFFERED BY PARTICIPATING MARKETS, SUPERMARKETS, FOOD SELLERS,
AND OTHERS, AS WELL AS AN  APPROPRIATE  EXERCISE  REGIME  THAT  INCLUDES
CARDIO-VASCULAR AND STRENGTH TRAINING.

S. 2099                             3

  (G)  THE OFFICE SHALL DEVELOP AND ADMINISTER A BROADLY BASED ADVERTIS-
ING AND MARKETING CAMPAIGN, IN CONJUNCTION WITH PARTICIPANTS  AND  OTHER
INTERESTED  PARTIES, TO ALERT SENIORS, THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS TO THE
BENEFITS OF APPROPRIATE DIET AND EXERCISE.
  (H)  THE  OFFICE SHALL SOLICIT APPROPRIATE GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTU-
NITIES IN FURTHERANCE OF THE PROGRAM  FROM  FOUNDATIONS,  OTHER  GOVERN-
MENTAL  AGENCIES AND INDIVIDUALS, UNDER SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS THE
OFFICE SHALL DEEM APPROPRIATE.
  2. IN DEVELOPING THE REPORT REQUIRED BY  THIS  SECTION,  THE  DIRECTOR
SHALL  CONSULT  WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF HEALTH AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
PUBLIC OFFICIALS, AND WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF MARKETS OR SUPERMARKETS OR
FOOD-SELLERS, PERSONS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN HEALTHCARE AND DIET FOR  SENIORS,
PHYSICIANS,  REPRESENTATIVES  OF  HEALTH  CLUBS,  AND OTHER ADVISORS AND
CONSULTANTS, AND SHALL CONDUCT AT LEAST ONE  PUBLIC  HEARING  TO  OBTAIN
INFORMATION  FOR THE REPORT, AND MAY CONDUCT SUCH OTHER HEARINGS, COLLO-
QUIUMS, MEETINGS, AND LISTENING SESSIONS AS HE OR SHE DEEMS ADVISABLE.
  3. THE DIRECTOR SHALL PROVIDE THE REPORT AS REQUIRED IN  THIS  SECTION
NOT  LATER THAN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
SECTION. THE REPORT SHALL CONSIDER AND MAKE  RECOMMENDATIONS  CONCERNING
THE FOLLOWING:
  (A)  WHETHER  THE  OFFICE  SHOULD  CHOOSE  AN OPERATING ENTITY FOR THE
PROGRAM, AND WHETHER THE FORM OF THE OPERATING ENTITY SHOULD BE  PUBLIC,
PRIVATE OR NOT-FOR-PROFIT.
  (B)  THE BUDGET NECESSARY FOR THE PROGRAM TO BEGIN OPERATIONS, AND THE
BUDGET NECESSARY FOR THE PROGRAM TO MAINTAIN OPERATIONS.
  (C) THE MARKETING BUDGET REQUIRED TO MAKE ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS  AWARE
OF THE PROGRAM.
  (D) NON-STATE SOURCES OF FUNDING THAT COULD BE AVAILABLE FOR OPERATING
AND IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAM.
  (E)  SAVINGS THAT COULD OCCUR TO THE STATE, OR ANY OF ITS PROGRAMS, AS
A RESULT OF IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAM.
  (F) THE NUMBER OF POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS, AND THE BENEFITS TO THEM  OF
JOINING THE PROGRAM.
  (G)  MECHANISMS  NEEDED  TO  PROTECT AGAINST LIABILITY, LOSS OF FUNDS,
FAILURE OF GUARANTEES OR OTHER  NECESSARY  PROTECTIONS  FOR  THE  STATE,
SENIORS AND PARTICIPANTS INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM.
  (H) PROTECTIONS NEEDED TO ASSURE CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING INFOR-
MATION RELATING TO INDIVIDUALS PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM, AND MATTERS
RELATING  TO  TRADE  AND/OR COMPETITIVE SECRETS OF SUPPLIERS AND PARTIC-
IPATING RETAILERS.
  (I) THE POSSIBILITY AND DESIRABILITY OF  USING  THE  CARD  TO  PROVIDE
ACCESS  TO  OTHER  PROGRAMS SUCH AS MEDICAID, THE FEDERAL PHARMACEUTICAL
BENEFITS PROGRAM AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO THE MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION  DRUG,
IMPROVEMENT  AND  MODERNIZATION  ACT  OF  2003,  AND OTHER PROGRAMS THAT
PROVIDE BENEFITS TO SENIORS THAT USE A CARD  OR  CARD  SWIPE  TO  ACCESS
BENEFITS.
  (J) SUCH OTHER MATTERS AS THE DIRECTOR SHALL DEEM APPROPRIATE, INCLUD-
ING THE SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED TO ALLOW THE LISTING OF HEALTHY AND
APPROPRIATE FOODS TO BE PROVIDED AT NO CHARGE TO PARTICIPATING RETAILERS
IN MACHINE READY FORM.
  S 261. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS TITLE:
  1.  "SENIOR BENEFITS CARD PROGRAM" OR "PROGRAM" MEANS THE SENIOR BENE-
FITS CARD PROGRAM CREATED PURSUANT TO THIS TITLE, AND WHICH
  (A) IS OPERATED BY THE OFFICE, OR BY AN OPERATING ENTITY  SELECTED  OR
CREATED  BY THE OFFICE AS A PUBLIC, PRIVATE OR NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY, AS
DETERMINED BY THE DIRECTOR;

S. 2099                             4

  (B) IS ADMINISTERED BY AN ENTITY SELECTED BY THE  OFFICE  OR,  IF  THE
OFFICE  SHALL CREATE AN ENTITY TO OPERATE THE PROGRAM, BY THE OFFICE AND
THE ENTITY, SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS  AS  THE  OFFICE
SHALL REQUIRE;
  (C) ALLOWS MEMBERSHIP BY ANY SENIOR; AND
  (D)  ENLISTS  THE  VOLUNTARY  PARTICIPATION  OF MARKETS, SUPERMARKETS,
HEALTH CLUBS AND OTHERS.
  2. "PARTICIPANT" MEANS ANY VOLUNTARY PARTICIPANT WHICH IS A MARKET  OR
SUPERMARKET OR FOOD-SELLER, HEALTH CLUB AND SUCH OTHERS AS MAY BE DEEMED
APPROPRIATE BY THE DIRECTOR.
  3.  "HEALTHY  AND  APPROPRIATE  FOOD"  MEANS ANY FOOD WHICH THE OFFICE
SHALL  AFTER  CONSULTATION  WITH  APPROPRIATE  CONSULTANTS  AND  EXPERTS
PROMULGATE  IN  A  LIST  OF  HEALTHY  AND  APPROPRIATE  FOODS  FOR WHICH
DISCOUNTS SHALL BE OFFERED BY PARTICIPATING MARKETS, SUPERMARKETS,  FOOD
SELLERS, AND OTHERS.
  4. "SENIOR" MEANS ANY PERSON SIXTY YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.
  5. "OPERATING ENTITY" MEANS A PUBLIC, PRIVATE OR NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY
SELECTED  OR  CREATED  BY  THE  OFFICE TO OPERATE THE PROGRAM. ITS BOARD
SHALL CONSIST OF TWENTY-ONE PERSONS, INCLUDING AT LEAST TWO OF  EACH  OF
THE  FOLLOWING:  REPRESENTATIVES  OF  MARKETS OR SUPERMARKETS; REPRESEN-
TATIVES OF ON-PREMISES FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS; REPRESENTATIVES OF OFF-PREM-
ISES FOOD WHOLESALERS; PERSONS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN HEALTH CARE AND DIET FOR
SENIORS; PHYSICIANS SPECIALIZING IN  GERONTOLOGICAL  MATTERS;  REPRESEN-
TATIVES  OF HEALTH CLUBS; REPRESENTATIVES OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT ADVOCATE
FOR SENIORS; AND RESTAURANT  REPRESENTATIVES.  THE  BOARD  MAKEUP  SHALL
REFLECT,  INSOFAR  AS PRACTICAL, REGIONAL DIVERSITY AND, WITH RESPECT TO
RETAIL REPRESENTATIVES, THE SIZE OF COMPANIES AS WELL  AS  WHETHER  SUCH
COMPANIES ARE INDEPENDENT OR CHAINS.
  6.  "ADVISORY  COMMITTEE"  MEANS THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE CREATED BY THE
DIRECTOR IF HE OR SHE SHALL DETERMINE NOT TO SELECT OR CREATE THE  OPER-
ATING  ENTITY.    ITS  MEMBERSHIP SHALL BE SELECTED BY THE DIRECTOR, AND
SHALL CONSIST OF TWENTY-ONE PERSONS, INCLUDING AT LEAST TWO OF  EACH  OF
THE  FOLLOWING:    REPRESENTATIVES OF MARKETS OR SUPERMARKETS; REPRESEN-
TATIVES OF ON-PREMISES FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS; REPRESENTATIVES OF OFF-PREM-
ISES FOOD WHOLESALERS; PERSONS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN HEALTH CARE AND DIET FOR
SENIORS; PHYSICIANS SPECIALIZING IN  GERONTOLOGICAL  MATTERS;  REPRESEN-
TATIVES  OF HEALTH CLUBS; REPRESENTATIVES OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT ADVOCATE
FOR SENIORS; AND RESTAURANT REPRESENTATIVES. THE MAKEUP OF THE  ADVISORY
COMMITTEE  SHALL  REFLECT, INSOFAR AS PRACTICAL, REGIONAL DIVERSITY AND,
WITH RESPECT TO RETAIL REPRESENTATIVES, THE SIZE OF COMPANIES AS WELL AS
WHETHER SUCH COMPANIES ARE INDEPENDENT OR CHAINS.
  7. "DIRECTOR" MEANS THE DIRECTOR OF THE STATE OFFICE FOR THE AGING.
  8. "OFFICE" MEANS THE STATE OFFICE FOR THE AGING.
  S 262. SENIOR BENEFITS CARD  PROGRAM.  1.  THE  SENIOR  BENEFITS  CARD
PROGRAM  IS  HEREBY  CREATED,  THE  PURPOSE  OF WHICH SHALL BE TO AFFORD
SENIORS ACCESS TO HEALTHY  FOODS  IN  MARKETS  AND  RESTAURANTS  AND  TO
PROVIDE INCENTIVES FOR THEM TO ADOPT A HEALTHY EXERCISE REGIME.
  2.  IF THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET SHALL AGREE WITH THE FINDINGS OF THE
REPORT REQUIRED PURSUANT TO THIS TITLE, HE OR SHE SHALL  SO  INFORM  THE
GOVERNOR,  AND SHALL DIRECT AND AUTHORIZE THE DIRECTOR TO TAKE THE STEPS
REQUIRED BY THIS TITLE, AND OTHERS AUTHORIZED BY THIS TITLE THAT  HE  OR
SHE MAY DEEM NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE ADVI-
SORY  COMMITTEE  AND  INVESTIGATION  OF  ISSUES  AND  CONCERNS RAISED BY
PARTICIPANTS.

S. 2099                             5

  3. THE DIRECTOR SHALL CONSULT WITH AND BE GUIDED BY THE ADVICE OF  THE
OPERATING ENTITY, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE, ON THE
FOLLOWING MATTERS:
  (A)  THE  LIST  OF HEALTHY AND APPROPRIATE FOODS, AND THE WAY IN WHICH
SUCH LIST SHALL BE APPLIED TO HEALTHY AND APPROPRIATE MEALS  AT  PARTIC-
IPATING RESTAURANTS;
  (B)  THE  WAY IN WHICH THE LIST OF HEALTHY AND APPROPRIATE FOODS SHALL
BE TRANSMITTED TO PARTICIPATING RETAILERS AND RESTAURATEURS, IN A MANNER
THAT SHALL BE MACHINE READY AND DELIVERED AT NO COST TO THE  PARTICIPAT-
ING RETAILERS;
  (C) THE PERCENTAGE AMOUNT OF THE DISCOUNT APPLIED TO RETAIL PRICE, THE
NUMBER OF HEALTHY AND APPROPRIATE FOODS TO WHICH IT SHOULD BE APPLIED AT
ANY  ONE  TIME, AND THE DAYS OF THE WEEK OR THE NUMBER OF SUCH DAYS IN A
WEEK IN WHICH SUCH DISCOUNTS SHOULD BE OFFERED;
  (D) HOW SUCH DISCOUNT SHOULD BE APPLIED  TO  HEALTHY  AND  APPROPRIATE
FOODS FOR WHICH A PARTICIPATING RETAILER MAY BE OFFERING A DISCOUNT; AND
  (E)  ANY  SUCH OTHER MATTERS WHICH THE DIRECTOR MAY CHOOSE TO REFER TO
THE ENTITY OR THE COMMITTEE, OR WHICH THE ENTITY OR  THE  COMMITTEE  MAY
CHOOSE TO TAKE UP.  THE DIRECTOR SHALL SUBMIT ANY PROPOSED GUIDELINES TO
THE  ENTITY OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE, AS APPROPRI-
ATE, FOR ITS CONSIDERATION AND REVIEW.
  4. THE DIRECTOR SHALL PROVIDE SUCH  FUNDS,  WITHIN  THE  AMOUNTS  MADE
AVAILABLE  BY  APPROPRIATION THEREFOR, AS SHALL BE NECESSARY TO INITIATE
AND MAINTAIN THE PROGRAM.
  5. IF THE DIRECTOR, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE  DIVI-
SION  OF THE BUDGET, SHALL DETERMINE THAT IT IS DESIRABLE AND BENEFICIAL
TO SENIORS TO USE THE SENIOR BENEFITS CARD TO PROVIDE  ACCESS  TO  OTHER
PROGRAMS OF BENEFIT TO SENIORS SUCH AS MEDICAID, FOOD STAMPS, THE FEDER-
AL  PHARMACEUTICAL  BENEFITS PROGRAM AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO THE MEDICARE
PRESCRIPTION DRUG, IMPROVEMENT AND MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2003, AND  OTHER
SUCH  PROGRAMS THAT UTILIZE A CARD OR CARD SWIPE TO ACCESS BENEFITS, THE
DIRECTOR SHALL SEEK TO REACH AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER NECESSARY AND  APPRO-
PRIATE ENTITIES TO ALLOW SUCH UTILIZATION.
  S  263.  EDUCATION  AND OUTREACH. THE DIRECTOR SHALL CONDUCT EDUCATION
AND OUTREACH TO PROMOTE THE PROGRAM AND TO ENCOURAGE  QUALIFIED  PERSONS
AND  ENTITIES TO BECOME PARTICIPANTS AND PARTICIPATING RETAILERS, WITHIN
THE AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED THEREFOR.
  S 3. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part
of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction  to
be  invalid,  the  judgment  shall  not affect, impair or invalidate the
remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause,
sentence, paragraph, section or part of this act  directly  involved  in
the controversy in which the judgment shall have been rendered.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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