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But while current state law guarantees this basic service, the law is set to expire at the end of April, which could result in the loss of a vital communication necessity for many rural Wisconsinites.
We are encouraging all Wisconsinites who live within driving distance of Baldwin (in St. Croix County) to join AARP Wisconsin volunteers at the state budget hearing at Baldwin-Woodville High School on Thursday, April 18 to tell members of the state’s joint finance committee that basic land-line phone service must be kept available to all.
Keeping this provision in our state law which requires phone companies to provide land-line service as an option will cost the state taxpayer nothing.
For many older folks, this is an extremely important provision, because…
- Telephone communication is a basic necessity, allowing older people to maintain social contact, preserve health and safety, and gain assistance in an emergency.
- For older people living alone, telephone service is a necessity and often a safety issue since they need to be able to access both 911 services and Lifeline.
- For many older people living alone or with aging spouses, both family check-ins and medical wellness cheeks are done via phone by families and care providers.
- There are many places in Wisconsin where cell service and wireless service is unavailable or unreliable.
There is still time to return the provision without disruption to telephone companies or the consumers.
The Joint Committee on Finance can amend the Governor’s budget and delete the sunset provision on provider of last resort. We hope you will attend the joint finance committee hearing in Baldwin or call your local State Senator and Representative and tell them how important this issue is to our seniors.