The Independent Democratic Conference on Wednesday released a report detailing the rising cost of living in the state, saying it bolsters the case for its “Affordable NY” agenda.

The IDC, which is pushing the package to be included in the state budget, was joined by AARP members at a Capitol news conference to unveil the report.

“This report drives homes a very simple truth—New York is becoming too expensive for our seniors and they cannot afford to wait a moment for real solutions. By freezing rents, lowering the costs of prescription drugs, and protecting seniors from unnecessary utility rate hikes, our Affordable New York plan offers the right solution at the right time for our seniors. We included these proposals in our budget resolution. Now it’s time to get them done for our seniors,” IDC Leader Jeff Klein said in a statement.

The proposal include:

  • An expansion of the EPIC prescription drug program in order to stem the rising cost of prescription drugs, which the IDC says have gone up 3.6 percent, double the rate of inflation.
  • A $5 million “rent freeze” for seniors
  • The creation of a statewide consumer advocate office that would be charged with representing seniors in utility rate proceedings at the Public Service Commission.
  • A Family leave insurance benefit that would allow workers to care for their parents, grandparents and in-laws. The IDC also backs $5 million in extra funding for the Community Services for the Elderly program.
  • The IDC also wants to lower the cost of renewing a senior citizen’s driver’s license by 10 percent.

It is not entirely clear how much the entire package of proposals would cost the state budget.

Updated: The IDC says the total cost of the package is expected to run about $45.2 million.

IDC Senior Affordbaility by Nick Reisman