The History of California Commission on Aging
The first White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) was held in Washington D.C.
Congress enacted the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965, which created the Administration on Aging and its subsequent benefits for the older population in the United States. The initial OAA called for a consitutent role in program advocacy.
In 1966, California legislation created a California Commission on Aging.
The second White House Conference on Aging was held in Washington D.C.
The 1973 amendments to the OAA created Advisory Councils at national, state and local levels.
In 1974, the Burton Act established the California Department of Aging (CDA) as a department within the Health and Welfare Agency. Initially the CDA was known as the Office on Aging. The Burton Act also established the California Commission on Aging (CCoA) as an advisory body to the Governor, Legislature, Department of Aging and other state departments, as well as provided funding and staffing.
The Triple-A Council of California (TACC) was initiated in 1977 by a group of Area Agencies on Aging Advisory Councils members from around the state. Initially this organization met on a bi-monthly basis to exchange information, ideas, trends and models of service delivery. The TACC eventually became the statewide organization whose members are the chairs of the 33 local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Advisory Councils.
In 1979, the CCoA and TACC established a close working relationship to develop language that was eventually incorporated into Older Californians Act revisions of 1980.
The Older Californians Act of 1980 redefined the duties and functions of the CDA and the state's 33 AAAs. The Act also gave the AAA Advisory Councils the role of "principal advocate " for seniors at the local level, similar to the state level duties of the CCoA.
Also in 1980, ACR 129 (Mello) was passed. This resolution required the CCoA to call the first session of the California Silver-Haired Legislature in 1981. The Silver-Haired Legislature eventually became the California Senior Legislature (CSL).
The third White House Conference on Aging was held in Washington D.C.
In 1982, Senator Mello authored SCR 44. This resolution asked the CCoA to sponsor annual sessions of the CSL with private funds.
In 1983, the CCoA and CSL jointly sponsored AB 50. This bill provided a permanent funding base for the CSL through the establishment of a tax check off line on the state income tax form allowing taxpayers to contribute to the California Senior's Fund. Two years later, the check off line became known as the California Fund for Senior Citizens. These funds were provided to the CCoA for operational support of the CSL and provided a permanent funding base for the CSL.
In 1990, the CCoA, along with the TACC and the California Association of Area Agencies on Aging (C4A) sponsored SB 2085, which created the California Seniors Special Fund which allowed taxpayers age 65+ to contribute all or part of the senior tax credit to fund support for the TACC and direct services for seniors.
In 1991, the CCoA and TACC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which the funds generated from the California Seniors Special fund was provided to the CCoA to provide operations and administrative support services for the TACC.
Also in 1991, attempts were made to complete a Memorandum of Understanding between the CCoA and CSL. No agreement was reached until 1994.
In 1994, SB 1495 (Mello) stipulated that the entire operational support for the CSL would come from the funds contributed through the tax check off line. Likewise, although not enacted into the law, the same was done with the TACC and the contributions generated through their tax check off line.
Though delayed, the fourth White House Conference on Aging was held in Washington D.C.
The TACC found itself in a financial crunch in the 1998-99 fiscal year. There were not sufficient funds for the membership to meet the full six meetings a year. Activities on the part of the members were necessarily restricted. To assure that the full six meetings were held in this fiscal year, the C4A and CDA agreed to cover the costs of one meeting each.
The TACC sponsored the first HOPE Summit in March. The day after the Summit, a public hearing on mental health and the older adult was held by the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long Term Care.
The second HOPE Summit was held in February and presented by the TACC, CCoA and CSL. The 2000 Summit focused on ethics, elder law and conservatorship.
The CCoA convened Planning For An Aging California: An Invitational Forum in April 2003 at the Sacamento Convention Center. The purpose of the Forum was to invite dialogue with California State Leadership regarding the development of the Statewide Long Range Strategic Plan for Aging, as called for in SB 910 (Vasconcellos). The Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency was to present the Plan to the State Legislature in July, 2003.
In October 2003, the California Health and Human Services Agency approved the Strategic Plan for an Aging California Population: Getting California Ready for the "Baby Boomers." The CCoA assumed the responsibility of monitoring the Strategic Plan; convening State Leadership around the Plan's progress and presenting Progress Reports to the Legislature on a biennial basis.
The California Performance Review (CPR) was released in August of 2004. This proposal recommended the elimination of the CCoA, along with numerous other boards and commissions. The CCoA, along with senior advocacy groups, opposed the recommendation. In February 2005, the concept to eliminate the CCoA was removed from the CPR.
Also in 1994, the Governor signed AB 1994 (Berg). This bill established the CSL as a separate state entity and directed the separation of the CSL from the CCoA. The transition was to take place on or before June 30, 2006.
The CCoA, along with numerous other organizations hosted three concurrent events in March 2005. The three events were planned to bring together state leadership, constituents, advocates and providers for dialogue and direction on a variety of aging issues. On March 7, the California Department of Transportation sponsored a Mobility Summit; on March 8, the CCoA sponsored the second Invitational Forum: Planning for An Aging California Population; and on March 9, the CCoA joined the WHCoA's Policy Committee in hosting the nation's first White House Conference on Aging Solutions Forum.
The CCoA prepared the first biennial Progress Report on the Strategic Plan for an Aging California Population to the Assembly Aging and Long Term Care Committee.
The CCoA was directed by Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger to be the lead entity responsible for the recruitment and training of the California delegation to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA). The CCoA coordinated a statewide delegate training session in November 2005. The fifth WHCoA was held in December 2005 in Washington D.C.
The CSL celebrated their 25th annual session in October of 2005.
On June 30, 2006, the CSL formally separated from the CCoA. Administrative support to the CSL is provided by the State Controller's Office.