LANSING, MI — AARP Michigan announced today it is sending letters to members of the State Senate Energy & Technology Committee notifying them that their vote on Senate Bill 636 is designated a “key vote.” By designating the telecommunications bill a key vote, AARP will inform members and the public about how lawmakers vote on this critical bill.
Senate Bill 636, which is currently in the Senate Energy & Technology Committee, would enable phone companies to withdraw landline services with a 90-day notice and not ensure that consumers have access to a reliable voice service.
AARP Michigan will educate its 1.4 million members and all Michiganders about how their State Senators vote on this legislation. As a Key Vote, AARP will be informing Michiganders of lawmakers’ votes through the Association’s various communications channels. Text of AARP’s Key Vote memo to lawmakers is posted here: SB 636 Key Vote Senate Cmte ltr
AARP is fighting to ensure that its members and all Michigan families have reliable, affordable phone service they can count on, especially during extreme weather or other emergencies.
“This legislation puts reliable phone service at risk for all Michigan consumers,” said Kelli Fritts, Interim State Director for AARP Michigan.
AARP is also concerned that wireless options to landlines are not compatible with medical alert and monitoring systems and home security systems. In addition, there are questions about whether landline alternatives will function effectively with 911 services.
“Telephone service is a basic necessity, particularly for older adults, who are more likely than any other age group to rely on landline service to not only maintain social contact but to preserve health and public safety,” Fritts said.
Surveys show about 90 percent of Americans age 65 and older still have landline service, as do 70 percent of people 40 and older.