ALBANY, N.Y.—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) was named Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee today, a post he previously held from 2011-12.
“I am pleased to resume chairmanship of the Aging Committee and look forward to taking the lead on policy issues that are important to seniors and their families,” Senator Valesky said. “With Baby Boomers entering retirement age, aging issues are among the state’s most important.”
New York State ranks third in the nation in the number of resident older adults. In 2010, there were approximately 3.7 million New Yorkers over the age of 60. That number is predicted to grow to 4.1 million by 2015 and 5.4 million in 2030—an increase of nearly 32 percent.
As a result, aging issues cross many different policy lines and impact all areas of state government including health, housing, property taxes, family and social services, workplace and transportation.
In his previous service as Aging Chair, Senator Valesky successfully fought against potentially devastating cuts to the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Program (EPIC), focused on protecting seniors from Elder Abuse, and helped craft legislation creating a statewide alert system for missing vulnerable adults, similar to the nationwide Amber Alert program.
“The aging population in New York is growing, and we need an experienced legislator like Senator Valesky taking the lead on this critical policy area in the Senate,” IDC Leader and Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Senator Jeffrey Klein said. “Seniors across the state are fortunate to have an advocate like Senator Valesky in their corner.”
“AARP is thrilled with Senator Valesky’s appointment to chair the Senate Aging Committee,” said Beth Finkel, state director for AARP in New York State. “Senator Valesky has been a consistent champion of issues important to the 50+, and AARP looks forward to working with him to continue improving their lives. His leadership in helping to block cuts to EPIC is literally saving New Yorkers’ lives and money. He's a true advocate for older New Yorkers, pushing for critical measures like an independent utility consumer advocate and family leave insurance to keep soaring utility bills in check and ensure older New Yorkers can receive the care from loved ones that's essential to aging with independence and dignity in their own homes.”