- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A group of New York state senators has released a package of bills designed to help struggling seniors

The measures come from the Independent Democratic Conference, a small faction of breakaway Democrats. Sen. Jeff Klein, the Bronx Democrat who leads the group, says the state has a responsibility to help seniors “thrive in their golden years.”

One of the proposals would invest $40 million in a fund to provide grants to developers who build senior housing. Another would increase funds for in-home health and human services for elderly residents by $5 million.

A third bill would provide help to seniors struggling to pay high utility bills.

The IDC also is calling for a tax credit for seniors who repair their home or add ramps, handrails or other safety upgrades.

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