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AARP WV Releases Results of 2024 State Legislative Issues Questionnaire

Legislative action to eliminate the state taxation of Social Security benefits and support the work of family caregivers highlights the priority items AARP members in the Mountain State would like state lawmakers to tackle during the 2024 Regular Session of the West Virginia Legislature.

AARP shared a questionnaire with its Mountain State members during the month of December on the issues important to West Virginians 50-plus and their families.

Social security card and American money dollar bills close up concept

The majority of respondents (90 percent) ranked the total elimination of the state taxation of Social Security benefits as the number one priority AARP should focus on in its state advocacy work at the State Capitol. Presently, 31 states exempt Social Security benefits from state taxation. West Virginia remains one of only 10 states that impose some state income tax on Social Security benefits.

Enhancing support for family caregivers remains a priority issue for West Virginians 50-plus, many of whom are among the state’s 300,000 family caregivers. Approximately 85 percent of respondents want state lawmakers focus on efforts to improve access and availability to in-home care for older West Virginians. Family caregivers provide estimated $3 billion in annual unpaid care to adult loved ones in the Mountain State.

Other key findings from the 2024 West Virginia Legislative Issues questionnaire:

· 70 percent of respondents want lawmakers to make sure retirement benefits of public employees/retirees are preserved and enhanced

· 62 percent of respondents want the West Virginia Legislature to strengthen laws to combat fraud, elder abuse and financial exploitation

“Older West Virginians, many of whom live on fixed incomes, are seeing others reaping rewards of the state’s economic resurgence while not seeing much financial relief in their household budgets. Utility bills and day-to-day expenses continue to increase, in addition to the continuing challenges 50-plus West Virginians face as they navigate rising prescription drug costs,” said Gaylene Miller, AARP West Virginia State Director.

“We look forward to working closely with lawmakers throughout the 60-day session, to ensure that the voices and concerns of 50-plus West Virginians and their families are heard at the State Capitol."

AARP, which counts nearly 230,000 West Virginians among its members, is focused on bipartisan solutions that provide real relief to West Virginians. The questionnaire captured responses submitted online from AARP West Virginia members statewide between December 3, 2023 and January 3, 2024.

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AARP WV Media Contact: Tom Hunter, tphunter@aarp.org, 304-340-4605

 

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