We are inviting all AARP members and anyone else from the general public to join us at any or all of the state’s four state budget hearings this month in Janesville, Oak Creek, River Falls and Green Bay. At each of these hearings we will have an AARP Wisconsin volunteer advocate testify on a specific issue that we would like to see addressed in the state’s 2019-2021 state budget.
As part of this effort, we will have dozens of volunteers clad in AARP red shirts standing up next to the testifier at these hearings. We are hoping you will be one of those willing to join us.
All you have to do is show up at any of the hearings and look for the folks in the front couple rows of the hearing who are wearing a red shirt, and notify one of them that you’d like to join the effort. We will then give you an AARP red shirt (available in S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL) that you can wear at the hearing and take home with you.
Here are the locations, times and dates for each of the hearings:
Janesville – Friday, April 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pontiac Convention Center 2809 North Pontiac Dr.
Oak Creek – Wednesday, April 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 South Howell Ave.
River Falls – Monday, April 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Center Riverview Ballroom #260, 500 Wild Rose Ave.
Green Bay – Wednesday, April 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay University Union-Phoenix Room 2430 Campus Ct.
Written comments can be emailed to the JFC.
AARP strongly supports the governor’s proposed budget since it advances many of our legislative priorities serving older Wisconsinites. Our first priority is health. We support full Medicaid expansion and the reinvesting of those monies into the health of Wisconsinites.
Our second priority is the financial wellbeing of our members. This budget provides additional economic wellbeing for our members by indexing and other enhancements to the homestead tax credit, by addressing the need for retirement saving for employees in the private sector and by taking steps to lower consumer prescription drug costs.
Our third priority is making sure all services and programs are available to all Wisconsinites, including isolated seniors. This budgets does so by the expansion of broadband and telehealth, by the statewide expansion of the dementia care specialist program, and by making dental health services available to many who currently do not have access to them.
Our fourth priority is support for family caregivers, which is where this budget falls short. We recommend the inclusion of the Credit for Caring Act and the CARE Act in the budget.
The Credit for Caring Act would create a $1,000 tax credit to help family caregivers offset some of the costs they incur while taking care of a loved one in their own homes and communities. The CARE Act calls for hospitals to work more closely with family caregivers and give them the training and information they need to care for a loved one when they are discharged from the hospital.
We also have additional recommendations about dealing with the workforce shortage beyond those steps proposed in this budget.
There are four days of testimony so we have divided our testimony into four categories: health, wealth, geographic inclusion and caregiver support. We will provide separate testimony on these issues at each of the four hearings.
Hope you will join us!