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Legislation Watch

AARP is serving as a watchdog for specific Pennsylvania legislation that could impact the Commonwealth’s older population.

See Also:  Follow Bills of Importance for Pennsylvania AARP Members

The uproar surrounding Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is gearing up to head to court. Advocacy groups from across the state that oppose the new requirement to show valid photo identification to vote are filling a law suit to prevent the law from taking effect before the November election.

Pennsylvania's voter ID law requires voters to show valid photo identification to place a vote in any election, as opposed to the previous state requirement to only show photo ID when voting for the first time. The Pennsylvania law includes legislation that allows voters without a photo ID to receive one free from the state Department of Transportation, but a birth certificate and other documentation is required.

AARP has openly testified before the House Democratic Policy Committee about the negative impact the new law will have on seniors in the state and have been citied in numerous media outlets as opposing the legislation.

Currently, nearly one in five citizens over 65 lacks a current, government-issued photo ID. Even if the state works to provide free identification cards, we would be adding another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy to the voting process that will disenfranchise many in our state’s elderly, economically disadvantaged and individuals from diverse communities.

If you are aware of any individuals who may be unable to meet the new voting requirements in Pennsylvania call the AARP office at 1-866-5654.

Other bills of interest to the quality of life for older Pennsylvanians are:

  • HB1907 – Restricts punitive damage awards in nursing homes and other long term care facilities; AARP opposes this legislation.
  • Default Electric Service – Currently the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is conducting a study on the status of electric restructuring in the state. The PUC is likely to issue an order in the near future which will change the nature of default service, opening it to alternate electric suppliers. AARP strongly opposes the actions being considered by the PUC.
  • HB2191 – Representative Ross of Chester County has re-introduced legislation which would legalize payday lending in PA by allowing short-term loans exceeding the current limit of 36% annual interest while setting up some consumer protections. AARP policy opposes short-term lending at high interest rates.

This legislative watch provides our members with up-to-date information on current bills of interest that are under consideration by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The bill hyperlinks provide bill text, history and committee information.

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