ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 56

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2024 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  REGINALD W. ATKINS

District 20 (Union)

Assemblywoman  LINDA S. CARTER

District 22 (Somerset and Union)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Stanley, Assemblywomen Murphy, Speight and Reynolds-Jackson

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Designates May of each year as “Older Americans Month” in New Jersey.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Assembly Aging and Human Services Committee with technical review.

  


A Joint Resolution designating the month of May of each year as “Older Americans Month” in New Jersey.

 

Whereas, In 2020, there were more than 55 million individuals who were 65 years of age or older in the United States, including 1.5 million individuals in the State of New Jersey, and those individuals accounted for approximately 17 percent of the national and State population; and

Whereas, Older Americans have made immeasurable contributions to the social, civic, and economic fabric of this State and country; and

Whereas, The contributions and sacrifices that older Americans have made is no more apparent than in the example of our older veterans, whose strength and resilience throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first century safeguarded the nation’s continued liberty and prosperity; and

Whereas, Older Americans continue to play an important role in society by contributing their experience, knowledge, wisdom, and accomplishments through vital community roles such as volunteer work, the arts, cultural activities, civic engagement, and the workforce; and

Whereas, Fewer workers are transitioning directly from full-time work to full-time retirement, with some taking part-time positions with their current or new employers and others becoming self-employed, both to help maintain the sense of purpose associated with employment and to remain financially flexible in an uncertain economy; and

Whereas, In New Jersey, the percentage of older Americans in the workforce increased from 18.1 percent in 2020 to 37 percent in 2022, the largest workforce participation rate increase in the country; and

Whereas, According to the American Associated of Retired Persons, nearly 80 percent of workers aged 40 to 65 have experienced age discrimination in the workplace, with nearly all workers polled believing laws to combat age discrimination should be stronger; and

Whereas, The coronavirus pandemic has posed unique challenges for older Americans, as the risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 increases with age; and

Whereas, Due to their vulnerability to severe illness from COVID-19, many older Americans have isolated from family members and friends, experienced challenges with economic security, and faced backlash from some who have ostracized older Americans for taking precautionary measures during the pandemic; and

Whereas, The many challenges facing older Americans will remain at the forefront of challenges facing the nation, as the life expectancy of Americans has increased since 1960 from 70.1 years to 78.9 years, and is expected to further increase to 85.3 years by 2060; and

Whereas, The month of May was first nationally designated as “Senior Citizens Month” in 1963, and in 1980, the designation was changed to “Older Americans Month,” and since that time the national celebration of the month of May as “Older Americans Month” has become a tradition; and

Whereas, As a State, we need to continue our commitment to the goal of ensuring that older Americans in New Jersey enjoy active, productive, and healthy lives, and do so safely and with dignity; and

Whereas, It is fitting and proper for the State of New Jersey to recognize and celebrate the contributions of older Americans and rededicate our efforts to better serve the older Americans of New Jersey; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The month of May of each year is designated as “Older Americans Month” in the State of New Jersey to honor and celebrate the important contributions of older individuals, publicly recognize their continued value via vital roles in our communities, and to rededicate our efforts to ensuring older Americans lead healthy, productive, and purposeful lives.

 

     2.    The Governor is respectfully requested to annually issue a proclamation recognizing May as “Older Americans Month” and calling upon public officials and the residents of New Jersey to observe the month with appropriate activities and programs.

 

     3.    This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.