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 Foundation Tax-Aide is looking to expand its team of volunteers for the upcoming tax season. Tax-Aide offers free tax filing help to anyone, especially those 50 and older, who can’t afford a tax preparation service. Tax-Aide volunteers make a difference in their communities by assisting many older, lower-income taxpayers who might otherwise miss out on the credits and deductions they’ve earned. Tax-Aide volunteers receive training and support in a welcoming environment. There is need for volunteer tax preparers, client …

— 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 …

— Vel Rae Burkholder of Fargo will be presented with the 2018 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service during a volunteer recognition luncheon Oct. 4 in Fargo. The Andrus Award is AARP’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award for community service and symbolizes that individuals have the power and ability to make a difference in the lives of others. The award is given to one North Dakotan annually. Other 2018 Andrus Award nominees who will be recognized at the luncheon are …

— 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 …

— Hettinger, Buxton and Grand Forks are the recipients of a 2018 AARP Community Challenge grant. A total of $1.3 million will be distributed to fund 129 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages. Nearly 1,600 applications, including 26 from North Dakota, were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its second year. North Dakota communities receiving grants this year are: Hettinger Area …

— In July AARP North Dakota was fortunate to host the world’s leading expert on fraud and scams in Fargo, where he spoke to about 1,000 people. Abagnale also participated in a telephone town hall with thousands of North Dakotans that day. You can listen to that conversation here. Abagnale also sat down with Prairie Public and you can watch that conversation on Prairie Public’s YouTube channel. Abagnale says there is a victim of identity theft every two seconds. Children are …

— Bismarck is ranked among the top 10 most livable small cities in the country, according to data analyzed from the newly updated AARP Livability Index. The index uses more than 50 national data sources to score every neighborhood and community in the U.S. based on seven categories of livability: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity. Users can search the index by address, zip code, or community to find an overall livability score. When the Livability Index was first …

— RaeAnn Johnson of Grand Forks and Cindy Yale of Burlington have been appointed to the AARP North Dakota Executive Council. Johnson has been a social worker since 1985. She has spent most of her career working at the Northeast Human Service Center in Grand Forks. Since 1991 she has served as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and as a program administrator. In her work at the Human Service Center, Johnson recruited and managed volunteers through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, …