5 States

—  TAKE ACTION NOW! Call your representative at 1-844-833-9667 or email them here. The Florida House Proposes a 62% Reduction in Housing Trust Fund Appropriations The proposed budgets are out. If the Florida House gets what it wants, there will be little money left for affordable housing programs in FY 2018-19 other than funding for hurricane recovery in communities impacted by the 2017 hurricanes. In stark contrast, the Florida Senate budget proposes full funding for affordable housing.  Affordable housing funds allow seniors …

5 States

— TALLAHASSEE – AARP Florida is urging state utility regulators to permanently lower the rates that homeowners and businesses are charged for electricity, natural gas and other utilities after a federal tax overhaul took effect on Jan. 1. Recent changes to federal tax law reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Accordingly, regulated utilities are clearly obligated to reduce rates immediately to reflect the tax savings, said Zayne Smith, Associate State Director for Advocacy for AARP Florida. “Today, …

5 States

— For many years, AARP Florida has been a leading voice fighting for consumers on utilities across the state and nation. In some cases, AARP Florida is the only voice representing residential ratepayers. Last year alone, AARP played an important role in the Legislature’s decision to defeat a plan that would have allowed electric-power companies to explore for natural gas in risky drilling projects in other states – and charge consumers up to $22.5 billion over 30 years for the gamble, …

— As a global movement to make communities more livable gathers momentum, Florida cities, counties and a key state agency are picking up speed in their own livability quest. A year of intense activity and great successes culminated with AARP Florida’s Second Annual Sharing Symposium in December at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg. Community leaders, urban planners and other Age-Friendly Network advocates, including the Florida Department of Elder Affairs andThe Patterson Foundation gathered together to share insights and information and …

— TALLAHASSEE — In recognition of their work during the 2017 Florida Legislative Session in protecting Florida’s most vulnerable residents, state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo (R – Naples) and state Rep. Ben Diamond (D – St. Petersburg) were presented with the AARP Florida Legislative Achievement Award The legislators authored Senate Bill 172 and House Bill 399, which ensures that additional safeguards are implemented to protect vulnerable adults in Florida’s guardianship process. Gov. Rick Scott signed the legislation into law on May 9, …

— By Tom Scherberger Three months after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the state and led to the deaths of 14 South Florida nursing home residents, AARP is gearing up for a legislative session it hopes will address the problems older people face during a disaster. “It’s tragic that it took the loss of a more than a dozen lives to discover where our system was failing older Floridians, and it would be a travesty if we, as a state, do …

Utility Rates
5 States

— Fellow Floridians – This year was a busy one for us when it came to utilities advocacy. We had some hard-fought battles – some we won, some we lost. Here’s a recap of our 2017 utilities activities: We successfully lobbied against SB 1238/HB 1043, which would have allowed investor-owned utilities (Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, TECO & Gulf Power) to charge ratepayers millions in advance fees to frack for natural gas out of state. For Florida consumers who get …

5 States

— Whew! The worst of the 2017 hurricane season is past us. That’s the good news. But the 2018 season is coming up. The off-season period – from the end of November to June 1 – is the best time to prepare your home for a hurricane. You have time to get ready, and supplies and equipment are less costly than when the demand is higher. So what exactly should you do?: Create your team. Identify those close to you (neighbor, …

5 States

— TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson issued the following statement commending Duke Energy Florida for stepping back from the consumer-unfriendly practice of utility advanced-cost recovery as part of a settlement agreement now under consideration by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). “Today the Florida Public Service Commission took up a proposed settlement agreement for Duke Energy Florida that, on the whole, shows potential for Florida consumers,” Johnson said. “It’s high time that utility companies began to step …

— By Tom Scherberger Maria La Moureaux, a retired teacher in Jacksonville, spends most days caring for her dad, Arnaldo Umpierre, an 86-year-old Army veteran. Her sister, Mary Carmen, takes over at night and on weekends. “He’s had heart attacks, strokes, glaucoma and diabetes,” she said. “He’s still walking, thank God, and he can play cards. He can bathe himself but can’t drive anymore or cook or clean. Everything else we do for him.” La Moureaux, 56, has a heart condition …