ROCKPORT—Today, the Maine Health Care Association honored Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, with a 2022 Legislative Advocacy Award at the organization’s annual Fall Health Care Conference & Expo in Rockport, citing his support for long-term care facilities and direct care workers.
Earlier this year, President Jackson was named the Maine Council on Aging’s 2022 Legislator of the Year for his work on issues that affect older Mainers, including long-term care.
“Respecting the generations that have come before us is just what we do in Aroostook County, and that means making sure that folks can get the level of care and support they need as they age while also remaining close to home and their loved ones. The people who run these facilities and work in this industry approach their work with compassion and heart amid real challenges,” said President Jackson. “So, I’m honored to be recognized by the Maine Health Care Association for my commitment to long-term care in rural Maine. I know we have a lot more to do and I’m ready to get to work.”
Since returning to the Senate in 2017, President Jackson has proven to be a fierce advocate for older Mainers. This past legislative session, President Jackson successfully led the charge to prevent the Maine Veterans’ Homes in Caribou and Machias from closing, while championing investments in nursing homes, residential care facilities and other long-term care providers. At the same time, he voted to boost in-home and community support services for older Mainers in need of daily assistance and supported funding for Meals on Wheels.
“As the people on the ground doing this work, we can speak to the challenges nursing homes are facing and speak to solutions. Instead of brushing off our ideas, Senator Jackson has gone ahead and introduced bills on our behalf,” said Phil Cyr, Caribou Rehab and Nursing. “When the State House is located more than 200 miles away, it’s comforting to know that the Senate President is only a phone call away and believes in what you do. His staunch advocacy of our work makes him deserving of this recognition.”
In 2021, President Jackson focused his efforts on addressing long-term care workforce issues, property tax relief and the high cost of prescription medication. Lawmakers expanded the Homestead Exemption Program, increased the Property Tax Fairness Credit benefit for seniors and revived the Property Tax Deferral Program. The Legislature also put federal funds to work by launching a campaign to promote direct care work and attract people to the profession, and supporting training and stackable credentials for health care workers. Both of these measures were recommendations from the Legislatures’ bipartisan Long Term Care Work Force Commission. President Jackson also sponsored legislation to rein in the high cost of prescription drugs and improve access to affordable health care.
The Maine Health Care Association is a non-profit trade association representing 200 Maine nursing homes and assisted living/residential care facilities.