Our Minnesota State government is making history - in more ways than one:
- We have a newly elected Governor, Mark Dayton, who is the first DFLer to serve as Governor of Minnesota in 20 years
- Both houses of the Minnesota State Legislature are led by Republican majorities for the first time ever
- And Minnesota faces a budget deficit of historic proportions
"The situation in St. Paul calls for a balanced approach, and AARP wants to help lawmakers and the Governor find common ground," said AARP Sr. State Director Michele Kimball.
At the State Capitol, AARP is working with a team of staff and volunteers to advocate for issues of concern to older Minnesotans and their families. These issues range from fighting fraud to helping older Minnesotans get the care they need at home.
Budget Issues Front and Center
AARP is urging Governor Dayton and state lawmakers to seek common ground and find a balanced solution to the state's on-going budget deficit that does not adversely impact vulnerable Minnesotans.
"Older Minnesotans are at greater risk for health and financial suffering when the economy is suffering - and more are likely to need critical services," said Kimball.
AARP is working with lawmakers to make it clear that health and human services and the people that use these programs - including long-term care services (nursing homes and home and community based services) - should not take a disproportionate share of budget cuts, and options for raising additional state revenue should be on the table for discussion.
"It's about finding a balanced approach that serves all generations," said Kimball.
Value for Your State Tax Dollar
Services that help older Minnesotans stay in their homes and communities and avoid costly nursing home stays are cost effective. Services that enable people to live independently, with dignity come at a much lower cost than institutional care. In Minnesota approximately three people can be cared for in the community for the same cost as one in a nursing home.
"This is an example of an issue that cuts across party lines and makes common sense to everyone," said Kimball. "We know that an overwhelming majority of Minnesotans want to stay in their home when they need long-term care - and it saves the taxpayers money. This is the kind of win-win situation that lawmakers will hopefully work to sustain."
AARP is also working with state leaders to find ways to protect older Minnesotans from frauds and scams.
Unfortunately, every single day, an older Minnesotan falls victim to a financial fraud or scheme. In tough economic times, this vulnerability to scams only increases. AARP is urging lawmakers to find ways to help Minnesotans avoid becoming victims of fraud by strengthening the ability of law enforcement to spot and stop fraudulent activity.
Find a complete list of AARP Minnesota's 2011 Legislative Priorities.
Join Us in Our Efforts at the State Capitol
Our members are a big part of what make AARP's legislative efforts successful. Whether it's writing or calling your elected officials; attending a rally or engaging your friends and neighbors on issues-it's you, the constituent, that captures the attention of legislators. Join us and make a difference on this and other issues.