North Dakota State Capitol

— THE HEADLINE  12/5/2018 Governor Doug Burgum presented his budget for the next biennium to North Dakota legislators on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. Here are some of the highlights, prioritizing issues AARP North Dakota will be working on during this session: Burgum proposes changes in how social services are delivered in the state. He would like to see the current structure of 47 administrative areas changed to 19. He was quick to emphasize that ‘touch points’ would not change, …

— 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 North Dakota for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— AARP North Dakota is looking for volunteers to work with state legislators on issues such as caregiving, health care access, transportation and property taxes. The state legislature reconvenes on Jan. 3, and AARP is seeking volunteers to join its advocacy team. Members will talk with lawmakers about issues critical to residents 50 and older. Ideally, the group will consist of at least one resident from each of the 53 counties in North Dakota, who are prepared to meet with legislators …

— AARP North Dakota’s advocacy agenda is taking shape as we prepare for the 2019 session of the North Dakota Legislature, which beings on January 3. We’d like to invite you to participate in a conversation about or work with state legislators. At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, we’ll host a statewide telephone town hall for our members. We invite you to participate and ask your questions about the 2019 legislature and our advocacy work during the session. We know we’ll …

— The North Dakota Legislative Assembly only meets every other year. However, during the “interim,” legislative committees will study a wide array of important issues. AARP will be closely watching issues related to health care access and affordability, home- and community-based services, retirement security, property taxes, and other issues important to North Dakotans 50 and older. To keep our members current on these interim studies, AARP North Dakota is hosting a monthly webinar/conference call. During these calls, expect to hear what …

— Check out the October AARP North Dakota newsletter. Stories include: Telephone Town Halls with U.S. Senate Candidates. Burkholder Named Recipient of Volunteer Award. Caregiving Expert to Speak in Bismarck and Fargo. Minot, Grand Forks Caregiving Lunch and Learns. Upcoming Coffee and Conversations in Mayville, Cavalier, and Valley City. Monthly legislative update calls with Advocacy Director Mike Chaussee. Upcoming driver safety classes around the state. Get Help with Medicare Part D during Open Enrollment If you’d like to receive the newsletter …

— Have a question for North Dakota’s candidates for the U.S. Senate? AARP North Dakota is hosting two separate telephone town halls with both candidates for U.S. Senate. We’ll have Rep. Kevin Cramer on the phone from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16. The town hall with Senator Heidi Heitkamp will be from 5:45-6:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22. You will be able to ask questions of the candidates as well as listen to the conversation. To be sure you receive the call …

— AARP North Dakota is sponsoring candidate debates beginning Sept. 4 on Prairie Public Broadcasting. The debates feature candidates for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Public Service Commission, and Secretary of State. Here is the debate schedule. All of the debates will be broadcast live on Prairie Public’s television network and all times are Central. Public Service Commission Unexpired 2-year-term Casey Buchmann (D) and Brian Kroshus (R) 7-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4 Public Service Commission 6-year-term Jean Brandt …

— In a newly released AARP poll, North Dakota voters age 50 and over are united in their concern over health care and personal finance issues. The poll found that health care and Social Security are critically important issues to 50-plus voters as they cast their ballots this fall, and a strong majority (79 percent) believe it is unfair to deny coverage or charge those with pre-existing conditions more for health care. The survey is part of AARP’s “Be the Difference. …

— Medicare contributes $1.3 billion to North Dakota’s economy, equivalent to 12 percent of state and local government spending in the state, according to a new report from AARP. Medicare also covers 116,951 beneficiaries in the state. Older Americans have said Medicare is one of their top issues in the 2018 mid-term elections, and AARP North Dakota is working to encourage voter participation this election season. “Medicare is a major economic engine in our state’s economy, as well as a key …

— An expert witness testified in support of AARP’s concerns about Montana-Dakota Utilities’ proposal to raise natural gas rates during a North Dakota Public Service Commission technical hearing May 30-June 1. MDU is asking for a $3.6 million increase applied to residential customers and general service (large commercial users) customers. AARP formally intervened in this rate case allowing us to testify against the rate proposal during the hearing. AARP raised the following issues with MDU’s proposal: The collection of the increase …