Colorado Lifespan Respite Care Project
The Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2006 defines respite care as “planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with a special need in order to provide temporary relief to the family caregiver of that child or adult.”
In Colorado, about 540,000 unpaid caregivers provide personal care and assistance to functionally impaired individuals, both adults and children. Family caregivers are the main provider of long-term care services in all states.
Colorado was awarded a federal grant in 2011 to create the Colorado Lifespan Respite Care Project.
In 2012, the state legislature passed HB 12-1226 which implemented a surcharge on crimes committed against at-risk adults and juveniles. This surcharge will support sustaining the Colorado Lifespan Respite Care Project.
Medical Exemptions from Tiered Rates
Tiered rates intended to promote energy conservation can create unintended hardship for those with heat-exacerbated illnesses like MS.
In Fort Collins, our advocacy has resulted in a medical exemption to the tiered rate structure for residents, extended to all electrical durable medical equipment and including a discount for customers whose medical needs require air conditioning. To qualify for the medical exemption, residents must prove they earn 60% or less of the median income in the Larimer County area.
For Xcel customers, recent changes will mean more relief. Thanks to the hard work of MS Activists, in 2013 the Chapter helped to pass Senate Bill 13-282, providing for a medical exemption from tiered rates for people with MS and other conditions that cause heat sensitivity.
Accessibility Adaptations and Vehicle Registration Fees
Wyoming House Bill 100, which strengthened Wyoming state law by exempting the added value of vehicles adapted for accessibility from vehicle registration fees, was signed into law on February 27, 2013.
Under the law, wheelchair lifts, hand and arm controls, pedal extensions, special seating, vehicle kneeling systems, wheelchair securement systems, and other accessibility aids are no longer reason to increase taxes or fees on an adapted vehicles.
The legislation makes it clear that the value of assistive devices will not be included in the value of the vehicle for purposes of assessing registration fees.