— By David Lewellen On May 5, state Sen. Fred Risser turned 90. Three weeks later, he took a 90-mile bike ride to celebrate—no cameras, no riding companions, just him going at his own pace. Riding one mile for every year has become a tradition for him. “It takes a little longer every year,” he said. Serving in the Wisconsin Legislature has been an even longer ride. Risser was reelected in November, without opposition, to his 14th four-year Senate term. Add …

— AARP Wisconsin conveyed a message to legislators at budget hearings this spring: The state could save money and help more older people live at home by investing moderate amounts in services for the aging and support for family caregivers. The idea is to reduce reliance on more expensive programs, such as Medicaid-funded nursing home care. AARP Wisconsin calls the potential savings the Silver Dividend. Far from being a liability, the state’s older population can benefit society—if lawmakers use the tax …

— Our team of AARP Wisconsin red-shirted volunteers is having a huge presence at all six of the state budget hearings being held across the state in April, and one of the ideas we’re floating at these hearings is something we’re calling the “Silver Dividend.” We believe that if Wisconsin invests moderate amounts of money in caregivers, seniors and the existing aging programs, it can save taxpayer money in the long term and maximize the number of older Wisconsinites who can …

— Results of a new study commissioned by AARP WI and released this week shows that even modest increases in the net worth of those who save the least for retirement would greatly improve retirement readiness and reduce government spending on public assistance programs. In fact, if lower and moderate income households (up to $40,000/year) were to save 3 percent of their income through 2030, state expenditures in 2030 may decrease by more than $3.1 billion annually. We know that Wisconsin’s growing elderly population …

— AARP Wisconsin will have a large red-shirted presence at all six state budget hearings across Wisconsin in April, and we welcome you to join and sit with our group of volunteer advocates if there is a hearing in your area that you plan to attend. The Joint Finance Committee has scheduled the hearings to listen to comments from Wisconsinites who want to respond to the proposals included in Governor Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget. In this budget cycle we will be …

— When the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee holds hearings this spring to discuss the biennial budget proposed by Gov. Scott Walker (R), AARP volunteers will be there to support key issues. One legislative priority for AARP Wisconsin is to expand the state’s Family Care program, which provides long-term care services for people in their own homes. The state office also is pressing for more supports for family caregivers, including those whose loved ones have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. …

— To recognize their support of family caregivers across Wisconsin, two State Representatives – Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) and Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) – were recently honored with AARP awards as 2016 “Capitol Caregivers.” Rep. Rohrkaste served as chairman of the Speakers Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia, while Rep. Hesselbein served as vice chair. Both were honored for their work on respite care and advancing legislation that significantly increased services that allow family caregivers to get some relief from their caregiving responsibilities. This is a …

— This has been a busy week for President Donald Trump. He’s been signing executive orders, holding high-level meetings, and tweeting up a storm. All of this makes it clear that our 45th president is eager to deliver quickly on the promises he made during his campaign. At AARP, we’re focusing on one important promise: The pledge he made not to cut Medicare. Older voters were instrumental in electing President Trump and the Republican Congress. Now those voters are counting on …

— By David Lewellen Carol Greene knows what AARP’s legislative agenda means to her and her family. The Edgerton resident closely monitors her 103-year-old mother, Theresa Martell, driving 30 miles each way once a week to check on bills and medication—for which Wisconsin’s SeniorCare program is a lifeline. “My mother really, really likes SeniorCare,” said Greene, 71. The program, unique to Wisconsin, offers low-income older residents a better deal on prescription drugs than Medicare Part D. Greene has attended many state …

— We were thrilled to meet with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin at her office in Madison to present her with a 2016 “Champions of the 50+” legislative leadership award for her significant achievements during the 114th Congress that benefit the lives of those age 50-plus and their families. We honored the Senator for improving the lives of family caregivers by sponsoring and securing unanimous passage in the Senate of the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, which would …