Governor Walz Commits to Making Minnesota an Age-Friendly State
On December 18, 2019 by Kari Thurlow
Governor Tim Walz last week committed to making Minnesota an Age-Friendly State during the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging Summit and indicated support for increased, stable funding for programs and services that help Minnesotans age in place.
In signing an Executive Order, Gov. Walz put a plan into action that will help ensure Minnesota is the best state to live in at any age. The Governor’s Council for an Age-Friendly Minnesota is the first major initiative from the Walz Administration that addresses aging and the State’s role in recognizing the unique needs of older adults in terms of housing, transportation, health and wellness, and community connections.
“Aging is a reality that we all face,” said Gov. Walz. “Everyone wants to live in a community that is respectful, inclusive, and supportive of our contributions and needs. This executive order coordinates efforts across agencies and sectors to move us all toward an age-friendly Minnesota.”
In his remarks to Summit attendees, the Governor highlighted the opportunities and challenges that comes with Minnesota’s demographic shift including financial security, housing, transportation, health care, employment and social service needs.
The council will have as many as 15 members, including representatives from the Board on Aging, Metropolitan Council, and Human Services and Veterans Affairs departments. Six public members who represent older residents, caregivers, business leaders and experts on aging will also be appointed by the Governor. See the appointment announcement for more information.
The council’s initial recommendations are due to the governor by Aug. 15 and a final action plan for improving the state’s age-friendliness is expected by the end of 2021. It is expected that at least some of the recommendations will require approval by the legislature in the 2021 session.