Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:01PM - 138 Views

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FRANKFORT — Senior advocates from across the state presented House Speaker Greg Stumbo with special recognition at the Capitol for pushing consumer protections and access to basic telephone service. He also received honors for increased funding of senior services in the 2012 General Assembly.

AARP Kentucky staff and grassroots supporters recognized Stumbo for leading efforts to secure more funding for basic human services helping people to live independently. AARP volunteers, Associate State Director Cathy Allgood Murphy and Interim State Director Ryan Gruenenfelder presented the leadership award for Stumbo’s work in the 2012 General Assembly securing funding for seniors and the Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL).

AARP Kentucky opposed efforts in the 2012 General Assembly to drop basic telephone service to rural, low-income seniors. Senate Bill 12 sought to end telecommunications companies’ obligation as “carriers of last resort” across large areas of rural counties.

According to Allgood Murphy, “Rep. Stumbo recognized that without basic telephone service, rural consumers and especially aging seniors, would be more isolated and disconnected from emergency services when needed most. He works hard to support the needs of seniors and their families in Frankfort. His leadership was instrumental in securing these consumer protections for vulnerable Kentuckians. It’s an honor to work with legislators like him.”

Representative Stumbo also supported AARP efforts to increase funding in the state budget for DAIL. His leadership included recognizing the need for more funding and supporting an additional 10 million dollars to begin helping the 19,000 seniors and persons with disabilities on waiting lists today for DAIL services.

“AARP Kentucky will continue to work with Representative Stumbo and other lawmakers to deliver more efficient long-term care options helping people to live longer where they want to be – in their own homes,” said Gruenenfelder.

AARP is launching a statewide effort before the next General Assembly to mobilize its grassroots advocates and senior supporters to best use state taxpayer’s dollars for delivering the most affordable care options possible. AARP sought an investment of $50 million dollars in the 2012-14 state budget for services to help the 19,000 state residents on waiting lists to continue living independently and stay out of nursing homes. These are basic, cost-effective services helping people stay in their own homes and out of nursing homes paid for with state Medicaid dollars.

AARP’s “End the Wait, Fill the Plate Campaign” focuses on investing in a better balance between nursing home care and community based services. Investing state resources for in-home care will bring better care while cutting waiting lists and generate significant savings to taxpayers and the state’s Medicaid program. AARP honored Representative Stumbo and other lawmakers this year for taking action to meet the basic needs of aging Kentuckians.

More information is available online at: www.aarp.org/ky

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