AARP Maine Volunteer and Advisory Council Member discusses Age Friendly Augusta with Caucus on Aging Chair Representative Erin Herbig

This was a great week at the State House.

Tuesdays at the State House continue to grow

Nearly 30 AARP members joined us for our bi-weekly Tuesdays at the State House event. Members are joining us who have never been to the State House before and are quickly learning their way around the parking garage, the Cross Building and the State House.

Welcomed by the House

The Maine House of Representatives stood and welcomed us with a round of applause before they sang Happy Birthday to two legislators. Depending on the size of our group we attend the Senate or the House session. Because of our large number this week we attended the House. In coming weeks we may split into two smaller groups so we can be present in both the House and the Senate.

Caucus on Aging

We then attended the Caucus on Aging where we heard about the following bills relevant to older Mainers.

Representative Norm Higgins presented LD 59, An Act To Provide Funding for a Therapeutic Adult Day Service Center

Representative Ellie Espling presented LD 643, Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Increase Reimbursement Rates for Home-based and Community-based Services

Representative Dale Denno presented LD 874, An Act To Expand the Authority of Municipalities To Implement a Property Tax Deferral Program

Representative Scott Hamann presented LD 263, An Act To Provide Additional Assistance for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Receiving Food Supplement Program Benefits and LD 692, Resolve, To Provide Meals to Homebound Individuals

Representative Anne-Marie Mastraccio presented LD 73, An Act To Increase the Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Certain Persons Who Are at Least 75 Years of Age

Representative Bob Foley presented LD 16, An Act To Exempt Certain Individuals Who Are 70 Years of Age or Older from Maine Income Tax

Representative Andrew McClean presented LD 1248, An Act To Improve Public Transportation in Maine

Representative Tom Longstaff presented LD 968, An Act To Help Prevent Financial Elder Abuse

Representative Erik Jorgensen presented LD 842, Resolve, To Support Home Health Services

Senator Amy Volk presented LD 735, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support the Independence of Maine’s Seniors

Representative Donna Bailey presented LD 1196, An Act To Assist Seniors and Certain Persons with Disabilities in Paying Property Taxes

Representative Jim Handy presented LD 192, An Act To Require Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids

Representative Denise Tepler presented An Act To Require Notification of Long-term Care Policy Increases (no LD number yet)

Representative Rachel Talbot Ross presented LD 1006, An Act Regarding Housing Insecurity of Older Citizens

Representative Heidi Brooks presented LD 769, An Act To Eliminate Insurance Rating Based on Age, Geographic Location or Smoking History and To Reduce Rate Variability Due to Group Size

Representative Janice Cooper presented LD 1242, An Act to Prevent Abusive Debt Collection Tactics by Debt Buyers

Representative Erin Herbig presented An Act To Provide Economic Security to Maine Families through the Creation of a Paid Family and Medical Leave System (no LD number yet)

 Conversation with the Caucus Chair

Representative Erin Herbig from Belfast concluded the Caucus on Aging with a conversation with the AARP members in attendance. Representative Herbig and other legislators spent about 20 minutes hearing directly from members about their concerns and feedback. Michael from Bucksport remarked that he had never attended the State House before and had a bit of a negative view about politics. Coming to the Tuesdays at the State House with AARP Maine has made him realize that legislators want to hear from people just like him, and he is more and more comfortable every time he attends another Tuesday at the State House.  

Lunch and continuing conversation

We concluded the day with complimentary lunch in the Cross Café and conversation among members that stretched into the afternoon. Everyone departed after a satisfying day together at the State House.

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