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AARP Maine Announces State Legislative Agenda for 2021

Maine State House

AARP Maine Releases 2021 Legislative Agenda: Looks Ahead to 130th Legislative Session and Working with Leaders on Behalf of Mainers 50-plus

PORTLAND: With the 130th legislative session now underway, AARP Maine announces its 2021 legislative agenda which includes a focus on retirement security, high-speed internet expansion, fair and affordable utility rates, telehealth, and increasing opportunities for older Mainers to age in place.

“On behalf of our more than 200,000 members statewide, AARP Maine looks forward to working with legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle as well as Governor Mills in 2021,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “We know that this is a critical time for Maine people and Maine’s economy as we continue to feel the impacts of COVID-19. It is critical that our newly elected and re-elected leaders work together to address important issues that affect Mainers 50-plus and their families.”

One of the top priorities for AARP Maine in 2021 is to ensure that all Maine workers have a way to save for retirement. Currently over 235,000 Mainers have no access to a retirement savings program through their employer. AARP Maine supports legislation sponsored by Senator Eloise Vitelli (D-Arrowsic) that would provide a savings option for these workers through a public-private partnership.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of staying connected and AARP Maine will continue to support investments in high-speed internet throughout the state. As a member of the Maine Broadband Coalition, AARP Maine supports additional bonding that will continue to expand access to unserved and underserved communities in Maine. One bill, spearheaded by Sen. Rick Bennett (R) of Oxford, seeks a $100M general revenue bond in alignment with the state's Economic Recovery Committee's recommendations to bridge the digital divide. We must make it easier for doctors to meet with their patients, students to engage with their teachers, and for families to stay connected. 

Another focus for AARP Maine in 2021 is the lowering of prescription drug costs which can directly impact older Mainers’ ability to maintain their health and safeguard their ability to live independently. AARP Maine will support efforts to protect Mainers from price gouging. Further work will focus on broadening access to telehealth services, the importance of which COVID-19 has only magnified.

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted older Mainers living in long-term care facilities. We will continue to advocate for investments in programs that allow older Mainers to stay at home or in their community as they age, and to ensure high quality care in Maine’s long-term care facilities.

“AARP Maine and all of our member advocates look forward to productively engaging in the 130th legislative session to ensure that Maine continues to be a place where people 50+ want to live, work and retire,” Parham said. “Despite the necessity of a virtual legislative session this year, AARP Maine trusts that all Mainers will be given ample opportunity to make their voices heard in Augusta through virtual options.”

Image credit: Getty Images #625233368

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