AARP Maine Releases 2023 Legislative Agenda
Looks Ahead to 131st Legislative Session and Working with Leaders on Behalf of Mainers 50+
With the 131st legislative session now underway, AARP Maine announces its 2023 legislative agenda which includes establishing a paid family medical leave program for Maine, as well as a focus on fair and affordable utility rates, high-speed internet expansion and affordable housing.
“On behalf of our more than 200,000 members statewide, AARP Maine looks forward to working with Governor Mills and our legislative leaders in Augusta from both sides of the aisle,” said Noël Bonam, AARP Maine State Director. “We know that Mainers 50+ have a lot on their minds including the strain of providing care for loved ones, the state’s affordable housing crisis and skyrocketing electricity rates. It is critical that elected leaders work to address these important issues that affect Mainers 50+ and their families.”
Maine’s 181,000 unpaid family caregivers hold up the state’s long-term care system, providing crucial unpaid support to help older parents, spouses and other loved ones remain in their homes—where they want to be. Many also work full- or part-time. AARP supports creating a robust Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program so family caregivers who work don’t have to choose between caring for a loved one or losing their pay—or even their jobs.
Livable communities champion a range of accessible, affordable, and safe housing options. This ensures that residents of all backgrounds, incomes, and abilities can find appropriate and affordable housing. It allows people to remain in their communities as their needs change. AARP Maine supports increasing choice and flexibility in housing types and increasing funding for affordable housing construction. Affordable housing access is a critical issue for Mainers 50+, and AARP Maine welcomes the opportunity to work with legislators to create novel solutions that will alleviate the burden of housing costs and allow more Mainers to age in place.
Utility rates are essential pocketbook issues for Mainers, many of whom struggle to pay their heating or electric bills along with other household expenses like food and medicine. Any discussion of changes to rates must be fair, reasonable and transparent and allow for public engagement. AARP Maine will continue to work to ensure that providers of electricity, gas, landline, wireless, and broadband offer services customers can depend on and that the implementation of any climate change policies and costs are fair and equitable.
Maine continues to be one of the lowest ranking states when it comes to ensuring residents have access to affordable high-speed internet. High-speed internet is a necessity, not a luxury, to enable Mainers to access health care and engage in their daily lives. AARP Maine will continue to support investments in high-speed internet throughout the state to increase access for all Mainers.
AARP research finds time and again that nearly all older Mainers want to live independently in their homes and communities for as long as possible. We will continue to advocate to help Mainers remain in their homes through greater access to home and community services, and to improve the quality and availability of direct care workers for home care and in nursing homes.
“AARP Maine and all of our member advocates look forward to productively engaging in the 131st legislative session to ensure that Maine continues to be a place where people 50+ want to live, work, retire and thrive,” Bonam said. “In 2023 we are also thrilled to announce we will be back in Augusta regularly with our AARP Maine Tuesdays at the State House program. We are looking for more volunteer advocates to speak up for Mainers 50+ and their families on issues such as aging in place, family caregiver support and affordable health care.”
For more information about AARP Maine, visit www.aarp.org/me and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @aarpmaine.
This story is provided by AARP Maine. Visit the AARP Maine page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
Tuesday, Apr 4, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Friday, Apr 14, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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