— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger Colorado. We hope you’ll join us!

— Did you know there is a state agency representing your interests in electricity and natural gas utility matters before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)? The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), created by the State Legislature in 1984, is charged with representing the public interest by advocating for reasonable electric and natural gas utility rates, terms and conditions for three constituent classes:  residential, small business, and agricultural consumers. Over that time, the OCC has saved ratepayers over $2 billion. The …

— The Colorado Public Utilities Commission upheld the recommended decision of Administrative Law Judge Conor Farley in the Xcel gas rate case, which lowers what the company, also known as Public Service Company of Colorado, can bill consumers for natural gas. The July 12 ruling supports the advocacy in the case by AARP on behalf of its nearly 700,000 Colorado members, as well as all older adults and their families. “The decision is a win for consumers,” said Bill Levis, AARP lead …

— AARP Colorado is hosting a very important community forum in Denver on Aug. 23 and is inviting the Denver public to join the conversation. The AARP Affordable Housing Forum scheduled for Aug. 23 will be held 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the SEIU-Justice for All Center, 2525 W. Alameda Ave. The forums are free, but reserving your seat ahead of time is required. The deadline to reserve your seat is Aug. 22. A complimentary breakfast will be provided for those who are …

— AARP Colorado is pleased to report its 2018 legislative activities. All bills referenced below were signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper unless otherwise noted. Visit our bill list for more information:  http://coloradocapitolwatch.com/bill-analysis/4714/2018/0/.   AARP’s involvement in reforms to Colorado Public Employees Retirement Plan Bill: Senate Bill 18-200. Sponsors: Sens. Kevin Priola and Jack Tate and Reps. Dan Pabon and K.C. Becker. Status: The bill passed on the final day of the legislative session and was signed into law by Gov. John …

— By Cynthia Pasquale Within 12 years, it’s likely that 1 in 5 Coloradans will be 65 or older. Wade Buchanan says the aging trend will have a positive impact on the state, but he doesn’t discount the challenges, either. In January, Buchanan was appointed the state’s senior adviser on aging, a new position in Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office. His task: coordinate policies that affect older residents and work with state and local governments, foundations, health care providers and others …

— AARP Colorado today commended a decision to potentially spare 1.4 million Xcel Energy natural gas customers the possibility of paying excessive rate hikes and unnecessary surcharges. An administrative law judge for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission agreed with AARP that Xcel should not be allowed to raise rates automatically every year without filing a separate rate case. Conor F. Farley, the judge in the May 11 decision, also reduced Xcel’s request for a 10 percent return on equity to 9.35 …

— On behalf of its 674,000 Colorado members, AARP is thanking Public Service Company of Colorado (Xcel) for listening to the concerns of AARP and others about Xcel’s plan to pursue membership in the Little Rock, Arkansas-based grid operator Southwest Power Pool (SPP). Last year, AARP learned that Xcel, Black Hills and others were considering joining the Little Rock SPP, which would’ve turned over much of the regulatory authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). AARP’s concerns — echoed in …

— The following is a letter Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president, sent to Senators Mitch McConnell and Charles Schumer and Representatives Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, urging them to  protect older Americans and their families: Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Leader Pelosi: On behalf of nearly 38 million members in all 50 States and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, I am writing to express our views on the FY2018 omnibus appropriations bill currently …

—   AARP believes Americans are faced with a crisis in achieving adequate and secure retirement income, and SB-200, as written, is not the answer for the Public Employee’s Retirement Association. Tuesday, March 13, AARP volunteer advocates – increasingly known at the Colorado State Capitol as “the white shirts” – will address the Senate Finance Committee at 2 p.m. in the Senate Committee Room 357 of the Colorado State Capitol to oppose SB-200. One area of particular concern to AARP members …

— AARP Colorado is deeply concerned about the proposal by Xcel, Black Hills and others to join the Little Rock-based Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which would turn over most regulatory authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The utility companies, known as the Mountain West Group, include Xcel (Public Service Company of Colorado), Black Hills, the Western Area Power Administration and Colorado Springs Utilities. The push to join the Arkansas SPP seems to be rushed and counterintuitive because the SPP …