Advocacy, local lifestyle offerings, adult learning and community service are several of the outreach efforts needed to successfully enhance the quality of life for all as they age.

As part of a multifaceted approach, AARP Connecticut is on the frontline advocating around issues such as Social Security, family caregiving services and supports, financial security, protection against unfair utility rate increases, safe driving programs, how to guard against fraud, and many more. In the community, we offer a variety of programs and events that help people age 50+ discover the real possibilities available to them.

In a survey by AARP Research, a majority of registered Connecticut voters expressed the need for state leaders to address community features important to residents – such as job opportunities, public transportation, affordable housing and hospitals – that are either insufficient or non-existent and could cause population erosion.

Connecticut is in the midst of a challenging period marked by significant budget gaps and little consensus on legislation among elected officials. Fortunately, we were successful in passing and defeating important legislation that will benefit our citizens despite the lack of budget clarity.

Financial Security
• H.B. 5028: An Act Requiring an Analysis of the Administrative Costs of Collecting State Taxes
AARP Connecticut supported section 6 of this particular bill that provides a $1 million line of credit for the functioning of the Connecticut Retirement Security Authority, a quasi-public /private agency charged with implementing a voluntary private automatic IRA retirement savings plan for workers in Connecticut who have no at work payroll deduction retirement savings plan.

• H.B. 5386: An Act Concerning Pay Equity
AARP Connecticut supported the passage of this bill that will prohibit private and state employers from asking, or directing a third-party to ask, about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history. The bill allows prospective employees to bring a lawsuit within two years after an alleged violation.

• S.B. 472: An Act Concerning Security Freezes on Credit Reports, Identity Theft Prevention Services, Employer Credit Inquiries and Regulations of Credit Rating Agencies
AARP Connecticut worked to enact this legislation that will prohibit credit rating agencies from charging consumers a fee to place or remove a credit security freeze and require, as a condition of placing the freeze, a consumer to enter into an agreement limiting claims they may have against the agency. It also requires that agencies place or remove the freezes as soon as practicable after receiving a request, but no later than the deadline specified in existing law. The bill increases the time certain businesses must provide identity theft mitigation services to customers in the event of a data breach from 12 to 24 months.

Utilities
• S.B. 330: An Act Concerning the Regulation of Voice Service Providers
Defeated the legislation to deregulate landline telephone service in Connecticut, which would negatively affect the quality of service for up to 300,000 people who rely on traditional landline telephone services.

• H.B. 5484: An Act Concerning Shared Renewable Energy Facilities
The title of this particular bill is misleading. This legislation AARP Connecticut opposed, and was successful in defeating, was not about shared renewable energies and would have only changed control of electric billing of consumers from regulated utilities to unregulated third party suppliers.

• H.B. 5402: An Act Concerning the Reporting of Residential Customers’ Nonpayment for Certain Utility and Telecommunication Services
AARP Connecticut supported the passage of this legislation that increases the number of days certain utilities may report a residential customer’s nonpayment for service after becoming delinquent to credit rating agencies from 60 to 120.

RX Affordability
• H.B. 5384: An Act Concerning Prescription Drug Costs
AARP Connecticut worked to pass the bill that lower the cost of prescription medicines by imposing stricter reporting requirements on pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers.

Caregiving
• S.B. 543: An Act Concerning Revisions to the State Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and Deficiency Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018
AARP Connecticut worked with legislators on a bipartisan budget that rejects the Governor’s cuts to keep the CT Home Care Program for Elders and Alzheimer’s respite programs whole. The budget will also fully restore cuts to the Medicare Savings Program that were scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2018.

• H.B. 5253: An Act Expanding Access to the Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project and Repealing Obsolete Statutes
The passage of this bill removes the 5,000-person cap on the number of individuals who may be served under the Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program, which supports Medicaid enrollees who choose to transition from living in institutions to less restrictive, community-based settings.

While a vote on a law implementing Earned Family Medical Leave was not taken this year, the efforts of AARP Connecticut, coalition partners and legislative proponents has advanced the conversation and altered the dialogue in a positive direction for success in the near future.