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Red Vests in the Rotunda

Thanks to our more than 130 volunteers and the many legislators and constitutional officers who joined us for lunch and conversation in the SD Capitol Rotunda for AARP South Dakota Lobby Day in January.

You can check out check out photos from the event and see which legislators took the time to stop by on our Facebook page. Be sure to click the "like" button while you're there.

Volunteers had good discussions on several key issues AARP South Dakota worked on during the 2011 legislative session, including a measure to require mandatory reporting of suspected abuse of the elderly and disable by caregivers. South Dakota was one only three states without a mandatory reporting statute for elder abuse and AARP South Dakota supported this measure.

Volunteers also brought their concerns about the Governor's proposed budget cuts. The Governor's proposal to shore up the $127M structural budget shortfall for 2012 with 10% across the board cuts could result in $30M in payment reductions to South Dakota's Medicaid providers. This not only puts access to care in jeopardy for the state's most vulnerable citizens, but raises serious concerns for funding for long-term care, and many of the services older South Dakotans rely on to stay in their homes and out of costlier institutional care settings.

AARP SD is closely watching the budget situation as proposals and counter proposals surface. We also want to hear from you. Which programs and services are you most concerned about? Share your thoughts and ideas via email at, or post your comments here or on our Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you and we encourage you to stay tuned for upcoming ways you can join the discussion.

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