Contacts: Erik Kriss 518-447-6723 email@example.com, David Irwin firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP New York
ALBANY, New York – “Today’s legislative hearing on human services serves as a stark reminder of the lack of inclusion of key issues to middle class, Baby Boomers and older New Yorkers in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state budget proposal. The executive budget fails to address the concerns of the largest voting demographic in the state, 50+ voters, when they most need it.
“The human services portion of the Governor’s budget proposal lacks any mention of a crucial issue to an increasing number of New Yorkers: giving people more tools and resources to provide care for aging loved ones in the community.
“In New York, over 4 million people are providing unpaid care for loved ones, worth about $32 billion annually. But ranked 48 th in the nation, our state is near the bottom in providing this group the resources they need to help their loved ones age with dignity and independence while avoiding expensive institutional care funded by taxpayers through Medicaid.
“With a looming demographic shift leaving fewer people to provide the care, now is the time for New York to tackle this critical issue. Being left out of the Governor’s budget proposal simply ignores this crisis, which is quickly moving towards disaster in New York State.
“An investment in non-medical, in-home services for the elderly would allow more of our parents and spouses to age with dignity and independence at home, while providing caregivers the support they need to continue the compassionate and critical work they do.
“By ignoring this issue, the Governor is ignoring the reality facing millions of people across this great state.
“Governor Cuomo also missed the chance to provide a level playing field for New York consumers who are buckling under New York’s highest-in-the-continental United States utility rates. Ratepayers need a watchdog, a voice and a seat at the table to represent them against deep-pocketed utility companies, which spare no expense to push through rate hikes – and then pass on those expenses to their ratepayers. AARP is calling on the Governor to heed the advice of his own Moreland Commission on Utility Storm Preparation and Response by creating an independent utility consumer advocate office - as 40 other states have - with the power to sue over unfair rate hikes.
“We’re calling on the Governor to amend his budget proposal this month, because these issues are all about kitchen table economies. They are impacting nearly every household and person in the state of New York. Our state can do better. AARP says we must, to make New York a better place to live, work and age for all generations.”
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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org ; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org .