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AARP Florida: Fighting for you in the 2015 Legislative Session

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Improving state services that help you remain in your home as you grow older, battling against unfair utility rates and fighting for better state health services for Floridians 50+ are among the top areas AARP Florida will focus on in the 2015 state legislative session, the state’s top AARP leader said.

“AARP fights to enhance the quality of life for the 50+ and their families.  In the upcoming 2015 legislative session, we will continue to deliver on this mission as a consumer voice at the state capitol,” AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson announced today.

On behalf of 2.7 million members in Florida, AARP will advocate to:

•    Expand access to affordable, quality health and long-term care.
•    Properly fund Medicaid services, like medical and dental care, for low-income and adult disabled persons.
•    Serve as a consumer “watchdog” in the interest of statewide Medicaid reform.  The shift from traditional to managed care needs to be continuously monitored to ensure quality care.
•    Properly fund state programs essential to older Floridians, such as Community Care for the Elderly, which helps you keep living independently in your home and community as you grow older by providing much needed home-and-community-based services.
•    Increase support and assistance for caregivers and call on hospitals to train them on proper and appropriate care before their loved ones are discharged from the hospital.  “Over four million caregivers in Florida work tirelessly so that their loved ones can live independently, with dignity, at home,” said Johnson.
•    Increase safety and quality of care for residents of Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) and nursing homes.  For several years, the Florida Legislature has failed to pass reforms that would increase the safety and protection of ALF residents.
•    Enhance the guardianship process.
•    Support small businesses in the tax collection of internet and other remote retail sales and use transactions.
•    Increase transparency in hospital settings on “observation” and “inpatient” status with regard to patients’ post-discharge, Medicare rehab coverage.
•    Safeguard affordable and quality utilities for ratepayers and enhance consumer input on utility regulation issues.
•    Strengthen consumer protections against perpetrators of fraud and scams, particularly those targeting and preying on older Floridians.
•    Support equal pay for equal work.
•    Support a review of the texting-while-driving ban to determine whether amendments for additional protections, such as primary enforcement, would be appropriate.
•    Promote transportation and affordable housing options that will allow older Floridians to remain living independently in their homes and communities as long as possible.
•    Dedicate intended revenues to the Affordable Housing trust funds.

AARP Florida will track bills of interest to the 50+ population through every step of the legislative process and publish a voting record on those issues post-session.  This report will serve as a tool for voters 50+ to hold their elected officials accountable for their votes on these key issues.

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