Social Security Sentinels
With the Nov. 23 deadline looming for a bipartisan congressional committee to recommend ways to reduce the national debt by $1.2 trillion, AARP Idaho is asking members to get involved in keeping Medicare and Social Security off the chopping block.
Seventeen percent of state residents draw Social Security benefits, and 36 percent of them would fall into poverty without the monthly checks. Similarly, 15 percent of Idahoans count on Medicare for access to health care.
Volunteers will help organize events and will visit, phone and email members of Congress. To sign up to help prevent cuts to these programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-295-7284 toll-free.
Follow the Money
AARP Idaho recently released a campaign finance report to shed light on the roles of special interest groups in passing or defeating state legislation and to begin a push for good government in 2012. The report lists the top three donors to each legislator's campaign, as well as what percentage of the campaign chest came from special-interest donations.
"We want to draw public attention to this report in hopes of building a foundation for a legislature that is more responsive to voters' concerns," says Jim Wordelman, AARP state director.
Lawmakers failed to act on bills that AARP Idaho members identified as key priorities in a 2010 informal poll. These issues include revising the state's Health Worker's Conscience Law to ensure that health care workers honor living wills. To read the report, go to aarp.org/id.
Use Your Voice
As the final month of the legislative session begins, AARP is urging Idahoans to contact lawmakers to discuss what's on their minds.
"Many legislators base their positions on what they hear from constituents," says AARP state director Jim Wordelman. "That's why it's important to know who your legislators are, introduce yourself and keep in touch about issues." State residents who don't know who represents them can find out at legislature.idaho.gov by clicking on "Who's My Legislator?"
Key goals of AARP Idaho's legislative agenda are to prevent harsh budget cuts and protect living wills. To help ensure respect for living wills, call 1-800-232-0581. Otherwise, call lawmakers at 1-800-626-0471 to weigh in on the issues that matter most to you.
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