More than 150 AARP members from all corners of the state board busses to make the trip to the state Capitol in Pierre, Tuesday, January 31. This annual event put on by AARP South Dakota to gives individuals an opportunity to meet with their legislators and draw attention to key issues AARP South Dakota is working on this session on behalf of South Dakotans age 50 and older.
“This is an opportunity for our members to share their thoughts and concerns with the people who represent them in Pierre,” said Dennis Eisnach, volunteer state president. “It demonstrates to lawmakers that we’re watching, we’re involved with the process, and that the decisions they make have a real impact on real people.”
People from nearly 20 communities made the trip on busses provided by AARP South Dakota. Legislators were invited for lunch and conversation with their constituents to discuss key issues AARP South Dakota is closely watching this session.
“Funding for Medicaid providers and the Elderly and Disabled Tax Credit, which provides tax relief for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, are among our top concerns this year,” said Eisnach.” Following last year’s deep cuts to reimbursement rates for Medicaid providers, we’re working to ensure payment rates start heading in the other direction. It is critical that South Dakota’s residents who rely on Medicaid for their health and long-term care needs continue to have access to that care when they need it most. Filling the state house and senate galleries helps drive that message home with lawmakers.”
“Many of our volunteers wouldn’t be able to make the trip were it not for AARP providing transportation,” said Eisnach. “And, for some, this may be their first time ever visiting our state capitol, so we feel it is important to provide an opportunity for individuals to meet with their lawmakers, see the legislature in action and be an integral part of our state government.”
A large number of lawmakers, constitutional officers, and legislative staff attended the event as well.
“We appreciate that so many legislators took time to meet with our volunteers, to listen to our issues, and involve our members in the legislative process,” concluded Eisnach.
For a full gallery of photos from the day visit our Facebook page.
Throughout the session, individuals are encouraged to follow our weekly legislative updates on our blog or sign up for regular advocacy updates. To contact your legislators via email, visit the South Dakota Legislative Research Council.