As your representative and a member of the Assembly Committee on Aging, I have always strived to ensure that any proposed or current legislation does not place a further burden on our most treasured citizens, our seniors. Our seniors have invested so much in our state, and I am fighting to ensure that the state of New York helps to take care of them as they reach their golden years.
Seniors should never have to choose between putting food on their table or being able to purchase their medication; that is why implementing the EPIC Extra program is so important. It will allow every senior with an income of $60,000 or less to claim an annual income tax deduction of up to $1,000 to help offset the cost of prescription drugs. Ensuring the health and safety of senior citizens is a fundamental responsibility of government, which is why I support the Long-Term Health Care Insurance program. This program increases the tax credit for long-term care insurance to 25 percent of the premiums paid, to help seniors with their health insurance needs.
New York's seniors spent their lives investing their time and talents to better our state; by reducing the tax burden, we will allow them the quality of life they deserve. Renewing the STAR rebate program will reduce the burden of property taxes on senior citizens and requiring the state to take over the costs of all optional Medicaid services within five years could save our taxpayers over $10 million.
Our seniors worked hard for their money; it is time New York state reform the system and stop taking money out of their pockets.