AARP is your advocate in Frankfort, looking after the interests of older Kentuckians and their families. AARP typically does its work through the efforts of volunteers, and our advocacy work in the state capital is no exception. Our legislative endeavors are guided by the AARP Kentucky Executive Council, a group of highly experienced volunteers selected from around the Commonwealth. They direct the AARP Kentucky staff to mobilize thousands of volunteers from around the Bluegrass state in support of issues important to our aging citizens.
Issue selection is guided by feedback from member surveys, general member communications and AARP sponsored hearings and events. The volunteers advocate these positions with state lawmakers, the governor and other state officials. Volunteers also work with legislators on drafting and sponsoring specific bills, testify at legislative hearings and follow legislative and regulatory proceedings. AARP Kentucky has been successful in recent sessions in passing strong licensure legislation for assisted living facilities, expansion of the nursing home ombudsman program and one of the strongest "No Call" telemarketing laws in the country.
Priority Issues for 2003
Long Term Care reform has always been a high priority for AARP Kentucky and efforts this year focused on a policy statement by the legislature that the provision of services to persons with disabilities and the frail elderly would have the right to:
Individual choice regarding planning and managing of programs to assist with living in the community and place of their choice;
A timely evaluation of their ability to live in or return to the community;
A high quality of care whether given in an institution, the home or the community.
The measure passed the House unanimously and made it to a final vote in the Senate before the session ended. This too will be revived in 2004.
Cuts in Medicaid also drew attention from AARP volunteers with hundreds visiting the Capitol in February for our annual Senior Rally to protest budget changes that threatened to kick people out of nursing homes and cancel dozens of community services. The effort resulted in the protection of these services under a new budget for 2003-2004.
You too can make a difference by becoming an Active Volunteer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
, call (800) 424-3410, or fill out the Volunteer Interest Form online.