When Alabama legislators returned to the statehouse in January, they were joined by AARP volunteers working to improve the lives of Alabamians age 50+ and their families.
Conwell Hooper, associate state director for advocacy, said that while the legislative agenda is constantly evolving and changing, he worked with members and volunteer leaders to identify priorities prior to the beginning of the 2010 legislative session.
Additionally, a high level strategic network group of AARP volunteers chaired by former state AARP President, Gloria Walker meet weekly to discuss evolving senior issues including the budget. Already this session, the Capitol Advocacy Team has been joined by several legislators including Senator Rusty Glover, Senate Majority Leader, Zeb Little, Senator Bobby Singleton, and Representative Craig Ford.
Some of the key issues our volunteers are committed to are:
- State Budgets- Protect state budgets and programs promoting independence, choice and dignity of people 50 and older, including Medicaid, SenioRx, home-and community-based services, job training and Meals on Wheels.
- Elder Abuse Protections– Support measures to expand the existing laws regarding prevention, intervention, and resolution of elder abuse and neglect to include all home-and community- based service providers and direct care workers.
- Livable Communities- Ensure that our communities provide housing and transportation options that are accessible, safe and affordable for people of all ages.
- Health Care Workforce- Increase and strengthen the health and long term care workforce, including their education and training.
- Rebalancing Long Term Care - Support action to rebalance long term care funding in the state, as well as protecting funding for Medicaid-which pays for half of all long term care services and supports-has a strong institutional bias.
- Utility Reform- Promote comprehensive public participation and consumer protections within the processes of utility regulation and the operation of the Alabama Public Service Commission.