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Utilities, Long Term Care Bills at Center of 'AARP Day In Annapolis'
Date:3/4/2008

ANNAPOLIS, Md., March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dozens of AARP members and volunteers from around the state gathered in Annapolis today as the General Assembly considered legislation on utilities reform, long term care regulations, protections against identity theft, and the creation of a state-sponsored retirement savings vehicle. They visited legislators' offices and attended committee hearings on legislation important to older Marylanders.

Representatives from AARP testified in favor of HB 1314, which would re-direct the focus of the state's Public Service Commission away from creating competition in the energy market and towards assuring reliable, affordable electricity for residential consumers.

"Marylanders of all ages are struggling with unpredictable, unaffordable utility rates," said AARP Maryland state director Joseph DeMattos, Jr. "Older Marylanders living on fixed incomes are especially impacted, but this really is an example of how the issues important to older Marylanders so often are the issues of all Marylanders."

House Bill 1187, requiring operators of nursing homes to be licensed by the state, also received backing from AARP.

"Marylanders expect that our leaders are doing all they can to keep our loved ones safe and well in nursing homes and care settings," said AARP Maryland state volunteer president Erwin "Erv" Sekulow. "This law will help to ensure that qualified, competent people are running these facilities."

AARP volunteers and staff testified on several other bills, including:

-- House Bill 807, establishing a Task Force to study financial matters relating to long-term care facilities;

-- House Bill 1228, establishing the Maryland Voluntary Employee Accounts Program; and

-- House Bills 1107, 1108, and 1113, addressing prevention, remedies and penalties for identity theft.

The morning began with both chambers of the General Assembly recognizing AARP as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch each presented DeMattos with resolutions of congratulations.

ABOUT AARP

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. 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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