(Greenville News) Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate Bakari Sellers visited Greenville Senior Action today to tout his plan for improving transportation services for senior citizens, giving tax relief to caregivers and for long-term care insurance and improving the relationship between the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and agencies such as Senior Action.
Senior Action has complained that policy changes made during the tenure of former Republican Lt. Gov Glenn McConnell have created chaos in the agencies that serve seniors under the federal Older Americans Act.
McConnell stepped down to become president of the College of Charleston and the office is now being headed on an interim basis by former Democratic Sen. Yancy McGill of Kingstree.
Rep. Bakari Sellers, who recently announced a statewide tour of senior centers and assisted living facilities, makes a stop at Senior Action in Greenville to outline ‘Senior Plan.’ MYKAL McELDOWNEY/Staff
GreenvilleOnline.com is attempting to get a response from Henry McMaster, the Republican candidate for the office.
Sellers said the state could pay for the programs he is advocating by eliminating state sales tax loopholes and from money the state will save through the creation of a Department of Administration and money that comes from growth.
“Over the past decade we really haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on” with senior citizen issues, the state representative from Bamberg County said.
If elected, he said he would identify sources of public funding within his first 100 days to develop a statewide senior transportation plan to help older South Carolinians who need rides to doctor’s appointments, church and other daily activities.
He said he would push for a $500 tax credit for caregivers and $350 for long-term care insurance.
He also said he would encourage the governor to create a Senior Fraud Taskforce under the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging to push for harsher penalties for those who defraud seniors and aggressively target scammers who prey on seniors.
Sellers also said he would update the state’s Alzheimer’s Task Force and work with the Medical University of South Carolina and the technical college system on addressing the disease.
McMaster, a former state Attorney General, has released a plan for the Office on Aging that includes mobilizing nonprofit resources and promoting volunteerism, promoting physical fitness, tax relief for seniors, stopping abuse of seniors and vulnerable adults, increasing effectiveness of senior centers, and retirement planning education.
He also says he wants to use the strategic blueprint developed by McConnell as a basis for his administration of the Office on Aging.