— They’re back! Texas lawmakers have returned to Austin for the start of a 140-day legislative session in which they’ll craft a new two-year state spending plan, deliberate over hundreds of bills, and work through a long list of issues on behalf of the state’s 28 million residents. On this opening day of ceremonies at the Capitol, the House elects a new speaker, Angleton Republican Rep. Dennis Bonnen, and the Senate gavels in under the leadership of Dan Patrick, the state’s …

4 States

— Voters age 50 and older were the deciding factor in last year’s midterm elections, according to the National Election Pool Exit Poll results. The findings confirmed that 50-plus voters made up the majority of voters, 51 percent here in Georgia. Candidates who ignored these voters, Georgia’s most powerful voting group, paid a price on Election Day. Older voters held candidates accountable for not finding common ground on the issues that matter to them and their families. One issue which was …

4 States

— New Research: More People 50-Plus Using Tech to Stay Connected to Friends, Loved Ones; AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins Highlights Social Connection at Inaugural CES Pitch Competition LAS VEGAS – At CES® 2019, AARP is putting the spotlight on the $7.6 trillion of annual economic activity generated by Americans age 50-plus, which is equivalent to the third largest economy in the world. AARP data show that, as consumers live longer and lead more active lives, they also spend more: for every …

5 States

— Tallahassee, Fla. – AARP Florida Friday urged Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis’s new administration to “rebalance” Florida’s Medicaid long-term care budget so frail older and disabled Floridians could get more help to remain in their homes and communities, rather than being cared for in institutions such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Such a shift could make wiser use of Medicaid dollars and help Florida make progress on whittling down its growing waiting lists for care at a time when Florida’s …

— Longtime Advocate Assumes Top Volunteer Post for Bay State Organization AARP announces the selection of Sandra Harris as the new volunteer state president of the Massachusetts State Office. Harris will work in collaboration with AARP Massachusetts State Director Mike Festa to achieve the Association’s vision, mission, and strategic priorities in the state, and serve as chairwoman of the AARP Massachusetts Executive Council. The Council, in partnership with Festa and staff, develops the framework for the state’s strategic plan and supports …

— Por Natalie Missakian Cuando David Henderson comenzó a trabajar como voluntario para el programa AARP Foundation Tax-Aide en los años 1990, completaba las declaraciones de impuestos a mano y contaba con el papel carbón para hacer copias. En la actualidad, los programas y las declaraciones electrónicas han reemplazado las declaraciones en papel, pero Henderson, residente de Windsor de 86 años, todavía prepara declaraciones de impuestos, y no piensa dejar esta actividad así como así. “Sigo regresando porque realmente lo disfruto”, …

— Gil Penalosa, a global expert on transforming areas into good, vibrant places for all people, is visiting the state to headline the Alaska Livable Communities Forum. The free event, which includes appetizers and beverages, will explore ways to foster better street and park design and to make walking, cycling and public transportation safe and accessible. The forum will take place Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at Williwaw Social in Anchorage. City officials will be on hand, and …

— By Natalie Missakian When David Henderson began volunteering for AARP Foundation Tax-Aide in the 1990s, he filled out returns by hand and relied on carbon paper for duplicate copies. Now, software and electronic filing have replaced paper returns, but Henderson, 86, of Windsor, is still preparing taxes, and he doesn’t plan to give up this activity anytime soon. “I keep coming back because I really enjoy it,” said Henderson, one of 600 Tax-Aide volunteers in Connecticut—and 35,000 across the United …

— When disaster hits, AARP and AARP Foundation are there. They met the goal of $500,000 in matching donations to help victims of Hurricane Florence, ensuring that $1 million will go to relief and recovery efforts. AARP South Carolina announced that four Palmetto State organizations are getting assistance, including Home Works of America, a faith-based group that provides home-repair services to low-income residents. Home Works is looking for volunteers to help with ongoing recovery and rebuilding in the Pee Dee area. …

— AARP is on a mission to make communities more livable for people of all ages, and the results can be seen in three localities. Pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy their neighborhoods more, thanks to AARP Community Challenge grants. The Conway Downtown Partnership got $7,255 for a bike corral, providing a safe space to park. The city of Little Rock used its $28,542 award for an educational BikePed Friendly Driver program, focusing on drivers’ rights and responsibilities to keep cyclists and …