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Lawmakers Returning to Frankfort Face Challenges and Opportunities

State lawmakers return to the Capital for their “short” 30-day legislative session beginning Jan. 4 until mid-March. AARP Kentucky is there and working for you, but when lawmakers hear from concerned citizens it makes a powerful difference.

Legislators will face tough choices this session, but have many opportunities to improve the quality of life for all Kentuckians.

Every session, hundreds of bills are filed in the General Assembly. But one issue stands out for AARP and reducing elder abuse in the state is a priority. And several bills have been filed to do just that.

A looming state budget gap may again threaten funding for aging services (Meals on Wheels, Grandparents raising grandchildren) and the Medicaid program’s ability to deliver health care and long-term care services.

New state data is showing a growing trend of the state’s seniors (ages 60+) resorting to payday loans for quick cash. These financial products can be like quick-sand for consumers and come with a 400% interest rate. Lawmakers have an opportunity to limit payday loans to a more reasonable rate (like 17 other states and Congress has done for military families) to 36 percent.

AARP knows that “I want to live in my own home…” is where most seniors and those with disabilities say they want to be. And, too many today live in fear of losing their independence and being left with only one option – institutionalization.

Growing needs: A tough economy, repeated state budget cuts, under funding and increasing needs is hurting Home and Community Based Services for the aging and those with disabilities. Kentucky is falling further behind as persons on waiting lists go without services.

A little help: A few services like home delivered meals, personal care attendants, transportation to doctor appointments, respite care relieving weary caregivers and local adult day care help to keep people in their homes longer, out of long term care facilities - and off state Medicaid.

Think About it, Talk About it, Take Action:

  • Talk about issues with family and friends;
  • Write a “Letter to the Editor” of your hometown newspaper;
  • Call the Governor, your Senator and Representative - ask them to protect aging services from any budget cuts and pass legislation protecting consumers and elders from abuse in the 2011 General Assembly.

Staying Connected

Governor Steve Beshear: 502-564-2611

Legislative Message Line: 1-800-372-7181

TTY Messages: 1-800-896-0305

En Español : 1-866-840-6574

Kentucky’s General Assembly online

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