In the most recent legislative session, Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness) secured funding to create the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging and Disability.
The committee will be tasked with coming up with a plan of action to meet the needs of a population that grows older every day.
“Fourteen percent of Washington’s population is over the age of 65,” Tharinger said. “In the district I represent, that figure is closer to 30 percent. We must come up with a plan to meet the unique and long-term needs of an aging population.”
The Joint Legislative Committee on Aging and Disability brings together a group of professionals — representing diverse interests – to address long-term care, health care, transportation and housing issues. They will take stock of what’s available, decide what still is needed and come up with a strategy for action to make up the difference.
Last month Tharinger was appointed to serve on the committee he helped to create by House Speaker Frank Chopp. The group of lawmakers, state agency leaders and representatives from Gov. Jay Inslee’s office will begin meeting next month.
“There are few things more important than ensuring that our family members and friends can grow old comfortably and with dignity,” Tharinger said. “I’m excited to be a part of a committed team working toward this goal.”
The Joint Legislative Committee on Aging and Disability will be responsible for an interim report by December of this year. Final recommendations to the governor and legislative committees will be released by December 2014.