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Fighting for Marylanders: AARP's 2017 Legislative Update

                Hank Tammy Leg Update 2017 

Dear Friend,


 Thank you for being an AARP Advocate in Maryland!

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We are now less than one month away from the end of Maryland’s legislative session on April 10–also known as Sine Die. AARP Maryland has made significant strides on our legislative priorities since the General Assembly convened in January. Last Friday, AARP Maryland’s Advocacy Director Tammy Bresnahan and I gave our Facebook fans a special video update from Annapolis, which I would also like to share with you—our AARP Activists.

Here’s a quick status update on the important legislation we have been busy working on in 2017:

Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability
Two bills for prescription drugs are currently in committee working on amendments. The bills will move to each chamber for a full vote by the House and the Senate. The first bill will require companies to disclose the cost of vital, life-saving drugs. The second bill will allow Maryland’s Attorney General to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable when prices soar on these medications that those of all ages depend upon. Learn more about each of the bills here and let lawmakers know you support this legislation.

Earned Sick and Safe Leave
The Earned Sick and Safe Leave bill has passed the house. The bill is being debated in the Senate and we expect a final vote this week. The bill is important to 50+ Marylanders because as Marylanders age and require caregivers, those caregivers need  sick leave. A recent University of Maryland-Washington Post poll found that 83 percent of respondents, including 91 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans, expressed support for the legislation.

Maryland Caregiver Support Coordinating Council - Renaming and Altering Membership and Duties
This act has passed both houses and is on its way to becoming law! This act asked Governor Hogan and legislators to make the Caregivers Coordinator Council a commission. This commission will make recommendations for resources and services that help family caregivers in Maryland.

Maryland Teachers and State Employee Pension Sustainability
In fiscal 2016, the Maryland Teachers and State Employee Pension Fund closed out with a $196 million fund balance and again triggered the $50 million maximum that is due to the pension fund in fiscal 2018. But now, that money is gone in efforts to balance the budget. AARP supports measures calling for the state of Maryland to meet its required contribution of $300 million over a 25-year period for sustainability. We will continue to monitor what the House and Senate do to sustain the teachers and state employee pension. 

When it comes to Maryland’s 50+ population, the reliability and affordability of needed utilities is important to our members.  Those utilities include telecommunication, water, gas and electric. So far this year, no detrimental utility bills have passed that would adversely affect those over the age of 50 in Maryland. AARP continues to work on protections so residents can stay connected using landlines with reliable access to broadband. You can still make your voice heard and let lawmakers know this is critical for older Marylanders.

We encourage you to stay up-to-date with us as we reach the end of the General Assembly: Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and keep reading our blog. Thank you for continuing to voice your support for 50+ Marylanders and their families whenever we ask for your help.

Hank Greenberg
AARP Maryland State Director


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