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AARP Calls for Action on Top Consumer Priorities

Urges the Governor and the Legislature Not to Leave Albany Until Priority Bills are Passed

ALBANY, N.Y., June 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With two weeks left in the Legislative Session, today AARP called upon Governor Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to work together and pass legislation on three priority issues: Foreclosure Prevention, Prescription Drug Marketing Reform, and Cell Phone Consumer Protection legislation.

"The 2008 Legislative Session officially ends on June 23 and it is imperative that the Governor and the Legislature work together to ease the burden on New Yorkers," stated Lois Aronstein, AARP NY State Director. "A large number of consumers are being hit from all sides, losing their homes, paying for the high cost of prescription drugs, and dealing with cell phone contracts that don't provide full disclosure until it is too late."

AARP has identified that the following legislation must be acted upon before session ends:

Rx Marketing Reform - A.11187 (Gottfried) - This bill, introduced at the request of the Governor, would ban drug companies from giving gifts valued at $50 or more to doctors - excluding prescription drug samples. The bill would also require doctors, who are paid by a drug company to speak about one of their drugs, to publicly disclose their financial relationships with that drug company.

Foreclosure Prevention - S.8143 (Farley) same as A.10817 (Towns) - Also a bill introduced at the request of the Governor. This bill would prohibit lenders from giving home loans without verifying the borrower's ability to repay the loan back and make mortgage fraud a criminal offense

Cell Phone Consumer Protections - S.3293 (Flanagan) same as A.2030 (O'Donnell) - This bill would ensure that cell phone companies disclose to the consumers all hidden fees, surcharges and taxes. It would also allow people to cancel their cell phone contract after receiving there first bill without paying up to a $250 penalty.

"AARP is committed to working on these priority issues and involving our membership to advocate for the passage of these bills before the end of session," continued Aronstein.

As part of AARP's effort to better inform its members about legislation supported by AARP, AARP will be recording state legislative committee and floor votes on these bills, and informing its members of the results of how their elected officials voted.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 39 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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