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State Legislative Work 2012: A Review

AARP Maine volunteers and staff worked hard during the 2012 legislative session to address critical issues on behalf of the 50+ in Maine. With 228,000 members in Maine, AARP is dedicated to being a strong advocate for those 50+. Would you like to receive our online newsletter so you can stay up to date on our work in Maine? Just contact our office: 1-866-554-5380 or me@aarp.org.

Earlier in the session, the State considered completely cutting critical services and programs upon which Maine’s most vulnerable citizens rely. These programs include the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and the Drugs for the Elderly Program (DEL). These are among the services that help seniors stay in their own homes and communities and out of more costly alternative service delivery settings like emergency rooms, hospitals and institutional care.

AARP Maine’s membership immediately voiced their opposition to the proposed cuts. As we pointed out months ago, a challenging economy is even harder for those who are frail, elderly, alone or living with a chronic illness.

The only good news is that instead of cuts that would have affected 72,000 Maine residents, the final budget approved cuts affecting approximately 6,000. From AARP’s point of view, 6,000 older Mainers losing these much-needed benefits is 6,000 too many.

In addition to our work on critical budget issues, AARP Maine also followed many other bills of importance to Mainers 50+. AARP Maine supported and provided testimony on the following bills which all passed.

Consumer Protections

  • LD 1784 – AARP Maine testified against deregulation of telecommunications that would have adversely affected rural and low-income residents with landline service. Had the proposed deregulation passed, consumers would have been subjected to higher rates and reduced telecommunications services with little hope of addressing their grievances. AARP Maine’s efforts resulted in broad consumer protections that will help maintain higher quality, more accessible telecommunications for all Mainers.
  • LD-401 enhances penalties to protect senior investors. This important law empowers the Maine Securities Administrator and the Maine Courts to double penalties for violations of the Maine Uniform Security Act that affect citizens 65 years of age or older.

Health and Support Services

  • LD-683 enhances long-term care services for Maine citizens. This bill reorganizes the provision of long-term care services for Maine citizens.
  • LD-1461 implements the recommendations of reports on services for elders and other adults who need long-term home-based and community-based care.

Elder Abuse Protections

  • LD-939 enhances mandated reporting and prosecution of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • LD-1374 protects seniors and incapacitated or dependent adults from abuse. This bill allows an adult who is 60+ or an incapacitated or dependent adult to seek a protection from abuse order if an adult is a victim of abuse by an extended family member or an unpaid care provider.

AARP remains committed to its advocacy efforts across the state and, in so doing, we are grateful for the engaged support of our volunteers. Together, we make a difference.

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