Across the States: Fighting for You in 2015

AARP Volunteers
AARP volunteers

This month, state legislatures throughout the nation are convening to mark the inauguration of new governors, state legislators and other state leaders. We will then begin to hear State of the State messages from governors that detail the challenges, opportunities and priorities they have defined for the year ahead.

At AARP, we’ve also set our priorities for 2015 with a 2015 AARP State Advocacy Agenda  that highlights how we will continue to fight for you in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. We’ll be watching closely as governors and legislators lay out their agendas to make sure our priorities — your priorities — are addressed.

Here are our top 2015 legislative priorities, across the states:

Supporting Family Caregivers
Today more than 42 million family caregivers care for parents, husbands, wives and other loved ones to help them stay at home — and out of costly institutions. That’s why in 2015 we’re working for commonsense solutions to give caregivers more support, help at home, training and more by fighting:


Helping People Live Independently in Their Own Homes and Communities
The vast majority of older Americans want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. It’s also less costly. In fact, home care is one-third the cost of institutions, like nursing homes. That’s why AARP is calling on state lawmakers to take action and make changes so that individuals receive the services they need to continue living independently in their homes.

Enhancing Retirement Security
Today, millions are facing a retirement deficit, outliving their retirement savings by an average of $57,000 per household. To help you live the life you want in retirement, AARP is fighting for your financial future. Here are two ways how:

  • 55 million Americans don’t have access to a retirement plan at work, a tool that increases savings rates by 1,300 percent. “Work and Save” plans are a commonsense solution that allows employees to save for their future at their job and benefits small businesses, employees and states.
  • We’re also working to protect retirees from cuts to their pensions — because pensions are promises and states need to keep up their end of the deal. Underfunded pension plans need to be shored up, and any changes must be fiscally responsible and protect the financial future of workers and retirees.


Standing Up for Consumers
Fair utilities: You should pay only what’s fair and reasonable for reliable utility service — that’s why we’re fighting against unfair utility rates. We’re working to defeat unreasonable rate increases and charges, to make sure you have a voice at the table when utility companies want to raise your rates and ensure consumer protections.

Financial exploitation: We’re also helping to safeguard older Americans from financial abuse, by enacting laws that help prevent, detect, report and assign penalties against elder financial exploitation, preserve funding for adult protective services and more.

Accessing Affordable Health Coverage
Many hard-working Americans who have lost their jobs or are struggling in jobs without health coverage have no access to affordable care. AARP is fighting in states across the country to expand access to affordable care and give these hard-working families the security of knowing they can get the health care they need.

Designing Livable Communities for All Ages
We need to make communities more livable for all ages. This could be barrier-free buildings and streets as well as more convenient access to services, businesses and green spaces. This includes legislation like Safe Streets to promote effective transportation planning, coordination and funding to address the needs of all residents.

For more advocacy news from across the country, sign up for the AARP Advocates e-newsletter or visit your state Web page.


Elaine Ryan is the vice president of state advocacy and strategy integration (SASI) for AARP. She leads a team of dedicated legislative staff members who work with AARP state offices to advance advocacy with governors and state legislators, helping people 50-plus attain and
maintain their health and financial security.

Follow Elaine on Twitter: @RoamTheDomes.

Also of Interest

See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
December 11, 2018 10:07 AM
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents.  That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
December 05, 2018 01:06 PM
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
November 27, 2018 08:55 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.