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Sacramento County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter


By Deborah Ortiz

Candidate for State Senator; District 6

This information is provided by the candidate
Senator Ortiz's commitment to the aging population developed out of strong relationships with her family.
Senator Ortiz's commitment to the aging population developed out of strong relationships with her family. She learned first-hand their daily struggles regarding health care access, independent living and quality of life issues.

For three years, Ortiz has worked toward the development of an effective mental health system for older adults and Alzheimer patients. She understands that seniors have unique mental health needs that are not addressed in our current system.

The recent rise in nursing home closures and bankruptcies have a devastating effect on seniors and their families. This year, Ortiz convened a public hearing to explore long-term policy solutions to these important quality and continuation of care issues. In addition, she introduced SB 1824 to address the devastating impact closures and transfers have on patients.

As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Ortiz voted to increase the number of advocates for nursing home residents. She also supported augmentation of the meals on wheels programs, funding for family caregiver assistance programs, and grants for adult day care programs.

Understanding that many seniors are on a fixed income, Ortiz supported the tax refund increase for the Senior Homeowner and Renter Assistance program. She also voted to expand prescription drug benefit coverage for seniors (SB 393 Speier).

Senator Ortiz served on Sacramento County's first Financial Abuse and Scams Taskforce, where they developed and implemented Financial Abuse Specialist Teams. These teams now track down and prosecute financial crimes against seniors. Too often when we think of elder abuse, we think of physical abuse. However, financial abuse is much more rampant. Ortiz also supported tough predatory lending laws and legislation requiring business to ask for your permission to use your personal information.

Aside from her various legislative efforts, Senator Ortiz is personally involved with the senior community in Sacramento. Each year she sponsors several elder abuse workshops and healthy aging conferences. Her experiences in the community serve to reaffirm her desire to expand community-based services for seniors.

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