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AARP AARP States Advocacy

Advocacy Update: Councils on Aging conference; new state Social Security report; upcoming SNAP cuts

2013-07-31 14.45.20 -compressed
By Leslie Siphers, AARP Massachusetts Outreach Specialist

Hello all,

It’s been a busy fall so far at the State House and AARP Massachusetts has been equally busy advocating for you on the state and local level. Here’s a quick update on the work that that has been done this past week:

AARP Presence at the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging Fall Conference

Earlier this month, AARP Massachusetts State President Linda Fitzgerald, State Director Mike Festa, and Community Outreach Specialist Lisa Masters, along with Executive Council members Barrie Atkins, Louise Myers and Gordon Mathieson, attended the two-day Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging (MCOA) and Senior Center Directors Fall Conference in Sturbridge. At the event, Linda and Mike hosted a workshop entitled “Work with AARP to Help People Live Their Best Lives,” which 25 people attended. They shared information about the following AARP programs that help people 50+ turn their goals and dreams into realities: the Massachusetts Money Management Program, the AARP Driver Safety program, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, the three-part AARP Foundation Finances 50+ program, and AARP’s Life Reimagined.

In addition, Lisa staffed a booth at the convention where she provided conference attendees detailed information on the Affordable Care Act, AARP’s You’ve Earned a Say (YEAS) initiative, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Forty-nine conference-goers added their names to  a YEAS petitions urging the President and Congress to leave Social Security cuts out of any budget deals.

Action Alert: Sign the petition today! Urge the President and Congress to leave Social Security cuts out of any budget deal! Social Security is a self-financed program, not a piggy bank for deficit reduction.

Social Security Generates $30.4 Billion in Economic Activity, Supports 190,000 Jobs in MA

The same week, the petitions were then delivered to the district offices of the state’s congressional delegation by the AARP Massachusetts Advocacy team, with information about why cuts to Social Security and Medicare, such as the “ chained CPI,” would be especially harmful to Massachusetts seniors.

Along with delivering the YEAS petitions, detailed information on the just-released AARP Public Policy Report on the economic impact of Social Security was also presented to each congressional office. Most of the district offices were working at reduced staffing levels due to the government shutdown; Sen. Warren’s office is the only one that had closed (as of this writing).

The report, entitled “ Social Security Generates Billions for Massachusetts’ Economy”, was released on Monday, Sept. 30. Following are some highlights from the report, with MA State Report

  • Every dollar of Social Security received in Massachusetts generates $1.98 of total output for the state economy.
  • Spending by Social Security beneficiaries, coupled with the added spending by businesses and workers on goods and services, generates $30.4 billion in economic output for Massachusetts.
  • The $16.4 billion paid in benefits helped Massachusetts workers find or keep 190,000 jobs.
  • Massachusetts’ workers receive $8.7 billion in salary, wages and other compensation thanks to the ripple effects of Social Security in state economies.
  • These additional earnings and business income, in turn, generate $1.8 billion in local and state tax revenue for Massachusetts.

In closing, please take note that the ARRA SNAP reductions are taking place November 1. While this is not yet finalized, AARP’s national advocacy against the proposed SNAP reductions in the Farm Bill—a separate issue from the aforementioned SNAP reductions—remains ongoing.


Leslie Siphers

About AARP States
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