AARP Connecticut will work with lawmakers during the state’s 2022 legislative session to support and advocate on a variety of important policies and issues that affect residents and their families.
“There will be many important issues to debate and difficult decisions to make, but we look forward to engaging legislators to discuss the importance of protecting vulnerable populations and critical safety net programs residents depend on to maintain independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable for them and for the state,” said AARP Connecticut State Director Nora Duncan.
Priorities for the 2022 legislative session include a focus on supporting family caregivers and reforming long-term care; ensuring all residents have fair and affordable access to broadband and utility services; controlling the high cost of prescription medications; addressing the property tax programs; and more.
Nursing Homes & Long-Term Care
Nearly 9 in 10 adults over the age of 50 would prefer to receive long-term care in the community instead of a nursing home or other institutional setting. AARP is committed to making sure services for older adults and people with disabilities support independence, promote quality of life, and consider the wishes of recipients and their loved ones. AARP Connecticut urges lawmakers to strengthen the long-term care workforce and adopt policies that support family caregivers.
Connecticut should take steps to ensure that more state and federal funding for nursing homes is spent on direct care for residents. Neighboring states – including New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – have acted in recent years to establish “direct care payment ratios” that require certain percentages of nursing home revenue to go toward direct resident care. Connecticut should explore any positive impacts of the policies in those states and look at the potential benefits of implementing something similar here.
AARP Connecticut also supports efforts to build on the success of the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and establish an ombudsman program that serves individuals who receive Home and Community-Based Services.
Connecticut should endorse projects that provide high-speed connectivity to underserved populations, enabling access to promising telehealth, personal health, and independent-living technologies. AARP Connecticut urges policymakers to tap into every available federal dollar – such as the many funding streams available via the Federal American Rescue Plan Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – to support expansion of broadband deployment, lower the cost of service, and strengthen digital skills for all residents, especially the older members, of Connecticut’s communities.
Fair & Affordable Utilities
As the industry continues to evolve, AARP is committed to ensuring delivery and pricing of energy is fair and sustainable for older residents and those with fixed incomes. Consumers deserve strong protections from the unscrupulous tactics of the bad actors in the Connecticut’s deregulated electrical markets. AARP Connecticut calls for policy to prohibit third-party electric suppliers from automatically renewing customer contracts if the new rates are higher than standard service.
AARP Connecticut also opposes implementing municipal electric aggregation (AKA Community Choice Aggregation) that switches residents’ electric service without prior consent as well as policies that destabilize and increase costs to the standard service electric supply offered by Connecticut’s two electric utilities. Additionally, it is time for Connecticut to pass legislation that protects consumers from the bad practices of those who solicit and market residential solar projects.
Rx Drug Affordability
AARP urges federal and state governments to ensure prescription drug launch prices and subsequent pricing decisions are reasonable, justified, and support improved consumer access and affordability. One way to accomplish this is through the creation of a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB). Based on a National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) model, a PDAB is an independent body established by the state that evaluates drug prices and sets limits on how much certain payors, including state agencies, will pay for high-cost prescription medications.
Property Tax Reform
AARP Connecticut calls for property tax relief that is equitable, cost-effective, and targeted to homeowners with low and moderate incomes burdened by their property tax bill. The programs need to be easy to participate in and well-publicized. Voluntary property tax deferral programs should be enacted, especially in the absence of other property tax relief programs or where tax burdens are high, and any interest charged for the deferral should be at fair and equitable rates. The state should adequately fund and broaden the methods towns use to finance public education. AARP Connecticut also supports a shift in education financing from property taxes to less regressive forms of taxation.
AARP Connecticut provides valuable educational resources and information to help people protect themselves from fraud and scams; take charge of their life so they can live their best life now and in the future; in their job search or transition to a new career; and more. Learn more at www.aarp.org/CT. In addition to advocacy work, AARP Connecticut is committed to providing valuable information and resources through a wide variety of free educational, interactive, and fun online events. Discover the offerings at www.aarp.org/CTEvents.
About AARP AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.