AARP achieved a major legislative victory in Connecticut this June when State lawmakers approved a Budget for 2013/14 that did not include plans for an electricity auction – a proposal originally championed by Governor Dannel Malloy. AARP was a staunch opponent of the auction, which would have sold the accounts of more than 800,000 customers who receive their electricity through the “standard offer” from CL&P and UI to private energy companies, in order to net the State about $80 million. The plan would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of residential ratepayers having their electricity supplier switched without their consent and could have resulted in higher electricity costs for everyone in future years.
AARP Connecticut was joined in our opposition by numerous consumer advocacy organizations, as well as the state Office of Consumer Counsel and the Attorney General’s Office. After a prolonged fight that included thousands of AARP members calling, emailing and sending letters to their legislators and the Governor, lawmakers announced on Saturday, June 1 that they had scrapped plans for the auction. According to AARP State Director, Nora Duncan, “We are extremely pleased that good policy won out over politics. This was the best possible outcome for ratepayers and we want to thank the strong, bi-partisan coalition of state legislators that listened to constituents and opposed the auction.”
AARP also was successful in protecting landline telephone service in Connecticut by beating back legislation (HB 6402) that would have made it easier for the telephone company to drop landline service in unprofitable areas of the state. Similar to our fight against the energy auction, our success in defeating two telecommunication deregulation bills was due in large part to the efforts of thousands of AARP members who made their strong opposition known to state legislators. You made it clear that while you value new technology, such as cellphones and wireless communications, you continue to count on reliable, affordable landline service for everyday communications and medical testing, as well as in emergencies or during power outages. And again, legislators listened.
AARP could not affect positive social change and help our members and the 50+ population achieve their goals and possibilities, without the efforts of a dedicated core of volunteers. If you are interested in supporting our efforts, here are some ways you can get involved:
Become an AARP Advocacy Volunteer
Sign up to be an e-Activist
If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities with AARP in Connecticut, give us a call toll-free at 866-295-7279 or contact our Volunteer Engagement Specialist, Elaine Werner, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.