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3/29/2017 Picard honored as ‘Capitol Caregiver’ by AARP
STATE HOUSE – Rhode Island AARP yesterday honored Sen. Roger A. Picard with its 2016 “Capitol Caregivers” award for his work supporting family caregivers in Rhode Island.

The organization selected Senator Picard for his sponsorship of a bill that took effect Jan. 1 allowing owner-occupants of single-family homes to construct or use accessory family dwelling units as a reasonable accommodation for family members who are 62 or older, provided they follow all other applicable laws. Previously, the provision applied only to units for disabled family members.

According to AARP, the legislation (2016-S 2297) addresses the projected shortage of housing for senior citizens.  Accessory dwelling units could be a good and affordable alternative to assisted-living residences or nursing homes, but local zoning ordinances often pose significant barriers that prevent them from being built. The new law streamlines the requirements and makes them more consistent.

“I’m grateful for this honor, and even more grateful to have the support of AARP in advocating for laws that better serve the senior population of Rhode Island. Seniors in my district and across the state are fortunate to have AARP effectively communicating their needs so we can work together to enact legislation that makes our state a better place to live in retirement,” said Senator Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland).

Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) was the House recipient of the award this year for his sponsorship of the Telemedicine Coverage Act, which allows doctors and patients to use technology, where appropriate, to see and talk to each other without a visit to the doctor’s office.

The awards were presented at the State House yesterday.

“AARP thanks these members of the General Assembly for championing passage of legislation that supports caregivers,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell. “They provided integral leadership to pass bills in 2016 and helped make the huge responsibilities of family caregivers in Rhode Islanders a little bit easier.”

IN PHOTO: AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell presents AARP’s 2016 Capitol Caregivers award to Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) yesterday.

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923