ATLANTA — The Georgia State Senate today passed Senate Bill 291 by a 45-5 vote to create the Georgia Adult and Aging Services Agency and its governing board.
The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, repeals the Division of Aging Services. The new agency will serve as the designated state entity for administering the Older Americans Act of 1965, adult guardianship services, the Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia’s State Plan, the state Ombudsman program, as well as long-term services and support.
Once created, the duties, powers and authority previously exercised by the Department of Aging Services will be transferred to the Georgia Adult and Aging Services Agency on July 1. The new agency will be assigned to the Department of Human Services for administrative services and will submit budget and policy recommendations separately to the governor and the state legislature.
“I am excited the Senate has chosen to ensure the health and happiness of our valuable citizens,” Unterman said in a statement. “Georgia’s senior population is expected to grow by more than 65 percent over the next 16 years. This bill would make sure our system is more effective, efficient and transparent. The new Adult and Aging Services Agency and its governing board will also increase access of care and support for our state’s older citizens.”
The agency will also be required to prepare a plan and program to meet the ongoing needs of older adults in Georgia, including encouraging and assisting in the development of programs for older adults throughout Georgia’s 159 counties. The agency’s governing board will consist of seven members who have either been recipients of or administered adult or aging services in Georgia.
SB 291 heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.