— 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 …

— RICHMOND – AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau today lauded lawmakers for bipartisan efforts to increase access to health care for 400,000 Virginians, including 95,000 people over 50 who are not yet eligible for Medicare.   “On behalf of all Virginians age 50 and older, especially those 95,000 that will now have much-needed access to health coverage, we graciously thank those state senators who worked across the aisle to do the right thing and vote to expand Medicaid in Virginia. …

— By Kelly Ganski At 59, Rosanna Márquez of Chicago has the same concerns as other 50-plus voters. As the AARP Illinois president, Márquez is in a unique position to hear from older residents about issues important to them. Turns out they’re the same issues she’s passionate about: taxation of retirement income, home- and community-based services and, mainly, the Illinois fiscal crisis. “I’ve heard a lot of seniors say, ‘We’re so concerned, and we’re so frustrated, and we’re fairly scared about …

—   Salem – AARP Oregon honored state legislators with “Down the Trail” awards for developing bi-partisan solutions to help older adults. Oregon’s former State Treasurer and legislator, Ben Westlund, was known as a statesman who brought people together to find bipartisan solutions to problems facing Oregon. “Bipartisan solutions can help us create policy that’s in the best interest of all Oregonians,” said Jerry Cohen AARP Oregon State Director. To honor Westlund’s bipartisanship, AARP Oregon named our top legislative award after …

—   AARP Virginia state advocacy volunteers will be fighting for Virginians age 50+ at state budget hearings on January 3. The volunteers will speak at regional public hearings of The House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees of the Virginia General Assembly.  The committees are holding the hearings to solicit comments from the public on the Governor’s proposed 2018-2020 biennial state budget. AARP volunteers will tell the legislators to fund programs important to Virginians, especially those in long-term care facilities, and …

— Each day, thousands of Delawareans serve as caregivers for family members.  These family caregivers often have full-time day jobs; they return home from work to provide evening care, or dash home at lunch to check in on loved ones.  They provide trusted care to those they hold most dear—an emotionally challenging, but critical, role in our society. The challenges can be financial, too.  Family caregivers often cannot afford to hire a nurse.  And to paraphrase a former DHSS Secretary: Delaware …

— By Danica Lucker Shirley Leow’s experience as a former pharmaceutical researcher and biotech executive comes in handy when she advocates before the state General Assembly for affordable health care and keeping rural hospitals alive. “I earned a decent living, which provided for my retirement, but that’s not the case for many people,” Leow said. “I have many female friends, for example, who are widows and are struggling. That’s why I got involved with AARP.” Leow, 65, of Lakewood, leads AARP …

— Through a recently launched campaign called Enough is Enough, AARP Illinois is encouraging state residents to demand that their elected officials come up with a plan to balance the state budget. For two years, the state has operated with a stopgap budget, leading to a 2017 deficit estimated to run between $5.6 billion and $7.2 billion. In addition, the state faces $13.2 billion in unpaid bills from previous years. The legislative impasse over the budget has stymied services, adversely affecting …

— With the 2017 legislative session under way, AARP Illinois is urging lawmakers to pass a fully functional budget that helps older residents continue to live independently in their own homes. Among other issues, the state office is fighting for affordable utility rates and supportive services for family caregivers. AARP Illinois invites members to amplify these efforts by joining its advocacy team. Volunteer training sessions will be scheduled in Chicago and Springfield. Interested? Call Teresa Jones at 217-747-8881 or email her …

— AARP Oregon is building grassroots support to fight any erosion in critical services for older Oregonians. In the legislative session that begins Feb. 1, state lawmakers will be grappling with a budgetary shortfall of about $1.7 billion and looking for ways to reduce spending. Among the programs potentially on the chopping block is Oregon Project Independence, which provides services such as home-delivered meals, light housekeeping, home modifications and personal care for Oregonians age 60-plus and those with disabilities, and for …