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Salas introduces bill to help seniors, disabled

Assemblymember Rudy Salas introduced a bill to give California beneficiaries of the State Supplementary Program for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled an increase of $600 in benefit payments in years that the state has a budget surplus.

"I want the senior, blind and disabled to know we are out there fighting for them. We hear their pleas, and that they need help. When California is doing so well, there is no reason that we can't do more. AB 1941 is a measure that will help all of them in a real way by giving them a $600 increase in their social security payment," stated Salas.

Over the last 10 years, California has had a budget surplus, and this year it is projected that there will be a historic budget surplus of $45.7 billion. "From 2021 data, 1.2 million people would benefit from the passage of this bill," Salas said.

"If 1941 does not get implemented, the senior, blind and disabled are going to continue to struggle. We should be doing everything in our power to help these groups that are the most vulnerable and the most in need," Salas added.

Covid-19 has disproportionately affected at-risk members of society, Salas said. Over 15 million Americans age 65 and older are now economically insecure, living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Record high inflation rates have also made it more difficult to survive.

"Often, it means the difference between choosing to put food on the table or having access to life-saving medication," Salas said. The cost-of-living adjustment has only increased social security payments by 5.9%, even though inflation hit a 40-year high of 7.5% in 2021.

If the governor signs the bill, it will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

"Although there could be an urgency clause added, and the money could be distributed sooner, but we would have to get him on board," he said.

Salas asks the community to support this bill. "We need everyone, not just the seniors, blind and disabled, to say this is something we support, that it is something that is needed, and that it is something that makes sense," Salas urged.

"Letters of support from individuals, companies, and anybody who worries about their older parents and family are needed. We know that this is something that definitely will provide them with valuable and, in some cases, life-saving financial assistance," stated Salas.

Letters can be mailed to the State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento 94249-0032.


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