— 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, …

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 …

5 States

— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 CONTACT:  Dave Bruns, 850.577.5161 dbruns@aarp.org Tallahassee, Fla. — AARP Florida, with 2.8 million members in the Sunshine State, has asked the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) to place a proposed constitutional ban on utility-company advance cost recovery initiatives before Florida voters in the 2018 election. Once every 20 years, the CRC is allowed to place proposed constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot for voters’ consideration. Now, AARP is calling upon Floridians to join the …

— The federal government grant scam has been around for years. But now, scammers are finding targets through social media. How It Works: You see posts from people on Facebook claiming they have been awarded tens of thousands of dollars in a grant from the federal government, and that you could be eligible, too. You call the listed phone number, give some personal information, and are told you qualify—all you have to do is send a money order or provide your …

— Budget Showed Progress But Too Many People Still Wait for Help Massive savings for utility ratepayers due to defeat of risky out-of-state natural-gas exploration and production bill; but Florida falls further behind on help for family caregivers. Florida consumers who get their electrical power from investor-owned utilities will save an estimated $3.75 billion to $22.5 billion over the next five to 30 years due to defeat of legislation that would have allowed some Florida electric companies to charge ratepayers in …

4 States

— St. Petersburg, Fla. – AARP Florida Advocacy Manager Jack McRay said AARP is disappointed in a 9-6 House committee vote Tuesday to allow Florida investor-owned utilities to shift the cost of out-of-state natural-gas exploration and development projects to ratepayers, while simultaneously collecting a return for itself on ratepayer-funded costs. The House Energy and Utilities subcommittee voted Tuesday to approve House Bill 1043 by Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, in a subcommittee meeting held specifically to consider the legislation, just ahead of …

— By Michelle Cerulli McAdams Others may dread tax season, but Rebecca Bachman, of Homosassa, says she looks forward to it every year. As a volunteer tax preparer and a state coordinator for the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program in Florida, Bachman, 68, has been helping residents file their taxes since joining the program in 1998. She is one of approximately 3,000 Tax-Aide volunteers in the state and about 35,000 volunteers nationwide. “There are lots of hugs exchanged. People are so grateful,” …

Affordable Utilities Now!

— St. Petersburg, Fla. – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson issued the following statement urging AARP members and other consumers in the Panhandle to raise their voices on a proposed $106.8 million Gulf Power Co. rate increase. “AARP believes this proposed rate increase asks too much of residential ratepayers,” Johnson said.  The Gulf Power proposal would increase the fixed charge portion of bill, he noted, which is the amount that ratepayers pay regardless of whether they use any electricity. “That …

— About 3,000 AARP volunteers, some of whom have served for decades, are gearing up to open more than 300 sites in churches, community halls, libraries and other sites across Florida in the coming days to help Floridians age 50-plus fulfill their annual federal income-tax obligation. For more information on documents to bring to the tax site or to locate an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site, visit www.aarp.org/findtaxhelp or call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669). AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS. …

— Los empresarios en el creciente campo de la prestación de cuidados pueden afinar sus ideas y modelos de negocio con un curso de 18 horas diseñado específicamente para ellos. Las clases de Caregiver Accelerator en Tampa Bay son parte de la ampliación del enfoque de AARP para asistir a aquellos que necesitan cuidados y a los encargados de proporcionarlos. Danielle Callahan, una de los dos capacitadores que dirigen las clases, señaló que la interacción en grupo y el tamaño limitado …