Two decades ago energy companies and their lobbyist convinced legislators that Maryland consumers would save money if only they deregulated the electric and gas companies. During the 2019 session, the industry hired dozens of plugged-in lobbyists to advocate for a measure to change the way electric and gas utilities set their annual rates. HB 653 Electric Companies and Gas Companies – Rate Regulation – Alternative Rate Plans was sponsored by Chairman Dereck Davis. Under the radar of the Public Service Commission and consumer advocates, the bill passed the House Economic Matters Committee 20-0 and the full House 83-51. AARP Maryland, however, took notice and our members sprang into action, sending hundreds of emails and faxes to their senators urging them to kill this anti-consumer measure. The bill’s supporters complained about the “noise” made by AARP volunteer advocates, but our efforts made a difference. The more AARP members made “noise,” the more lawmakers began to pay attention and the bill stalled in the Senate.
A statewide public opinion poll released on May 6, shows overwhelming bipartisan support among Maryland voters for a Prescription Drug Affordability Board.
The average victim of elder financial abuse loses upwards of $120,000. Recognizing financial abuse as the most common type of elder abuse, and accepting responsibility as a first-line defense, Maryland nonprofit financial counseling agency, CCCSMD and AARP Maryland are leading a statewide awareness campaign in partnership with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, the Maryland Department of Aging, the Maryland Department of Human Services and a Coalition of state agencies and community partners to “Protect Older Americans from Financial Exploitation” — declared PROTECT Week.
On the night of Sine Die, AARP Maryland advocacy volunteers are celebrating a slew of legislative victories during the 2019 General Assembly Session, including measures to promote affordable prescription drugs, protect nursing home patients, support veterans and combat energy rate hikes.
AARP Maryland is saddened by the passing of Speaker Michael Busch. He was an outstanding public servant who through his compassion and leadership skills worked to improve the lives of all Marylanders.
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