Advocacy volunteers work the rope line at the State Capitol in Hartford during the final days of the 2013 Legislative Session. (contributed photo)
Hartford, CT - As the 2014 Legislative Session gets underway this week, AARP Connecticut on Monday announced its legislative advocacy agenda of key issues critical to residents 50 and older. AARP legislative priorities focus on issues that help improve and maintain health and economic security for adults 50+.
“For more than 50 years, AARP has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all as we age through advocacy, education and service,” said AARP Connecticut State Director, Nora Duncan. “Here in Connecticut, we work on a range of issues each year that help people age 50-plus live their best lives. As the 2014 Legislative Session approaches we look forward to working with the General Assembly and the Governor to enact policies that help improve the lives of all Connecticut residents, and particularly those over age 50.”
Affordable Utilities and Better Consumer Protections
During the 2013 legislative session, AARP was successful in preventing the deregulation of basic telephone service (also known as “copper wire”). We also defeated an attempt to pre-emptively deregulate cable and internet telephone services. As advances in technology open up different options for staying connected, AARP will work to ensure that all consumers have access to reliable and affordable telephone service, regardless of what technology they use, or who provides it.
AARP also successfully opposed the elimination of Connecticut’s standard offer electric service last year. Through that effort, AARP identified gaps in current consumer protection laws for individuals shopping for an electric supplier. In 2014, AARP will work to strengthen and improve consumer protections in the competitive electric supply market and prevent further deregulation of the energy market, to ensure that ratepayers have the information they need to save money and avoid being ripped off.
Helping People Stay in Their Own Homes and Communities
Research shows that the vast majority of older adults want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. At AARP, we believe no one should be forced out of their home in order to receive long-term care. AARP is fighting for policies that support family caregivers – the unsung heroes of our long-term care system – and allow seniors to live independently in their own homes as they age.
Improving Health Care Quality & Care Coordination
AARP also is working in Connecticut to improve health care quality, strengthen consumer protections, and increase accountability for businesses and providers delivering medical care. Our efforts will support improvements in how patients are transitioned home from a hospital to keep them healthy and prevent re-admissions; increase public reporting of health care quality; eliminate health disparities; and ensure better coordination of patient care among doctors and other providers.
Enhancing Retirement Savings & Promoting Opportunities for Older Workers
AARP is fighting for changes at the state and national level that will help people better plan and save for their future so they can live the life they want. Social Security remains an important pillar of retirement savings and in Washington, we’ll continue to fight to ensure people get the benefits they’ve been promised. In Connecticut and around the country, AARP will work with policymakers to create options that encourage personal savings and make it easier for individuals to save at work. We’re also fighting to end age discrimination and improve opportunities for older workers to stay in the workforce.