50+ Voters Looking to Lawmakers to Protect Utility Consumers, Homeowners Facing Foreclosure, Give 100,000+ Kids Solid Foundation
ALBANY, N.Y. – AARP’s 2.5 million New York members are calling on state lawmakers to pass three bills critical to New Yorkers before finishing the 2013 legislative session next week.
The measures would help residential utility consumers push back against unfair rate hikes, give 25,000 homeowners facing foreclosure a better chance to keep their homes, and help tens of thousands of aunts, uncles, adult siblings and great-grandparents provide a stable home and solid foundation to more than 100,000 kids whose parents or grandparents are unable to raise them.
New Yorkers 50 and older accounted for 47 percent of all voters statewide in the 2012 presidential election and more than half the turnout in the 2009 New York City mayor’s race (51 percent).
The bills on which the association and its members are calling for action are:
- S4550/A6239 sponsored by Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) and Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Chairman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) to create an independent office of utility consumer advocate with the power to sue over unfair residential electric rate hikes. Over 40 other states have such offices, which return hundreds of dollars in lower rates for residential consumers for every dollar they cost. When utilities push for a rate increase, New Yorkers need someone to push back.
- S4530/A5582 sponsored by Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) and Assembly Judiciary Chair Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn) to speed up New York’s notoriously lengthy foreclosure process, put a stop to snowballing fee and interest charges and give homeowners a better chance to reach an affordable mortgage modification by moving their cases more quickly to court-supervised settlement conferences with lenders. The bill passed the Assembly May 22 in a bi-partisan 111-26 vote.
- S2094A/A7189A sponsored by Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens) to provide aunts, uncles, adult siblings and great-parents the same rights grandparents already have to seek guardianship or custody of children whose own parents are unable to raise them. That would allow these relatives to make critical school, health and other decisions for children who have been living with them for at least 24 consecutive months, helping create stable homes and solid foundations to give the kids a better chance for success in life. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on June 4.
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 .