Policies that matter


The Minnesota Board on Aging has identified the following priority areas for legislative attention in 2017:

1. Home and Community-Based Services: Options and Information

2. Education and Support for Vulnerable Adults

3. Supporting Caregivers and the Long-Term Services and Supports Workforce

4. Preparing Minnesota for Aging into the Future

5. Supporting Individuals to Take Action on Long-Term Services and Supports

6. Supporting Affordable Housing Solutions for Older Adults

Communities for a Lifetime Legislation

In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature enacted legislation that charged the Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA) with taking actions to further communities for a lifetime. The stature defines communities for a lifetime as partnerships that “extend to persons ages 65 and older the opportunities, supports, and services that will enable them to continue to be contributing, civically engaged residents.” The MBA submitted a report to the legislature with recommendations for building communities for a lifetime in January 2010. 

Complete Streets Legislation

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed the complete streets policy into law in 2010. Complete streets refers to “the planning, scoping, design, implementation, operation, and maintenance of roads in order to reasonably address the safety and accessibility needs of users of all ages and abilities. Complete streets considers the needs of motorists, pedestrians, transit users and vehicles, bicyclists, and commercial and emergency vehicles moving along and across roads, intersections, and crossings in a manner that is sensitive to the local context and recognizes that the needs vary in urban, suburban, and rural settings.” The complete streets policy is an important support in making Minnesota communities age friendly.

Older Americans Act

The Older Americans Act was signed into law in 1965. The act created the Administration on Aging and authorized grants to states for community planning, services, research, and demonstration and training projects in the field of aging. Later amendments provided grants to Area Agencies on Aging for local needs identification, planning and funding of services. The Act was reauthorized and amended in 2000, at which time the National Family Caregiver Support Program was established to support family, friends and neighbors caring for older person as well as for grandparents and other older relatives caring for children. In 2006 additional focus on long-term care, person-centered initiatives, and evidence-based programs was established.  Nearly five years after it expired, legislation to reauthorize the Act was passed by Congress with unanimous, bipartisan support. Read about the Senate reauthorization bill and the House amendments. The bill was signed into law by the President on April 19, 2016. 

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register. The Older Americans Act: Title III regulations are found in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 45 – Public Welfare Chapter XIII – Office of Human Development Services, Department of Health and Human services Part 1321 – Grants to State and community programs on aging and Part 74 – Uniform administrative requirements for awards and subawards to institutions of higher education, hospitals, other nonprofit organizations, and commercial organizations

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities and guarantees equal opportunity in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Rehabilitation Act of 1973

All programs funded under the Older Americans Act must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which state that programs receiving federal funds must provide services, facilities, and benefits on a nondiscriminatory basis, for use of older people regardless of race, color, sec, religion, disability or national origin.