Your AARP State News
Keeping the heat on at home and at work in the Mid-Atlantic
D e l.
Percentage of shortfall in state and D.C. budgets for fiscal year 2011.
M ic h.
M iM n i ns .s .
W aW s.WVhia. Ws..y o .
Te n n.
N e v.
Oh no, not again AARP is
fighting a proposed electricity
rate hike that comes on the heels
of an increase that was imposed
last July. If the 14.8 percent rate
hike requested by Appalachian
Power and Wheeling Power is
approved, the combined increase
would raise rates by more than
23 percent. Approval of the lat-
est hike would cost residential
customers an additional $155 mil-
lion a year, and would mean a 70
percent rate increase over the past
five years. The state’s Public Ser-
vice Commission is expected to
rule on the request by this spring.
Send public comments to: WV
PSC, 201 Brooks St., PO Box 812,
Charleston, WV 25323. Refer to
case number 10-0699-E-42T.
N . J.
N . Y.
R . I.
* CALIFORNIA BASED ON
REMAINING 2010 SHORTFALL
AND PROJEC TED 2011 BUDGE T
GAP; OREGON HAS A TWO-YEAR
BU DGE T
SOURCE: CENTER ON BUDGET
AND POLICY PRIORI TIES
STATES IN THE BLACK
No disconnections AARP
Maryland is working with the
utility company BGE to encour-
age customers to designate a
friend, relative or social services
agency to receive notice of pend-
ing shuto s. BGE’s voluntary
Third Party Notification Program
is designed to help prevent un-
necessary disruptions in gas and
electric service. Any shuto notice
sent to the customer also is sent
to the designated third party. That
person can bring the problem to
the customer’s attention to be sure
it hasn’t been overlooked, and
perhaps can o er assistance in
addressing any payment problems.
AARP is helping to publicize the
program because higher midwin-
ter utility bills can lead to payment
problems and service disconnec-
tion. To enroll, go to bge.com and
click on “Manage Your Account”
then “Other Billing Services,” or
Penalty returns Once again, AARP is asking legislators to eliminate
a state law that discriminates against many workers age 62 and older
by reducing unemployment benefits for those who have Social Security
retirement income when laid o from a job. The General Assembly
did away with this practice in 2005, with the caveat that it would be re-
instated if the state’s unemployment trust fund dipped below 50 percent
of the amount needed in a calendar year. In a tight economy, the fund
dropped below 50 percent for 2010 and is expected to remain below
that level for several years. AARP advocates are lobbying to change
the law. Virginia members can help by contacting their legislators to
push for a repeal of the penalty. Learn more at aarp.org/va.
Rx help AARP is encouraging Pennsylvanians age 65 and older who
need help paying for prescription drugs to apply to the state’s PACE
or PACENET program. Those facing changes in Medicare Part D
or other insurance plans may now be eligible to join the more than
300,000 enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the
Elderly and PACE Needs Enhancement Tier programs. Participants
pay no more than $6 to $8 for a month’s supply of generic drugs and
$9 to $15 for brand-name prescriptions. To qualify for PACE, an-
nual income must not exceed $14,500 for an individual or $17,700 for
a couple; for PACENET the limits are $23,500 for an individual or
$31,500 per couple. To learn more, call 1-800-225-7223, or ask for
information at your local Area Agency on Aging or pharmacy.
Warm up With more than
100,000 New Jersey households
in need of heating help, AARP has
been pushing the state to release
funds to help middle-income
households on the verge of losing
utility service because of past-due
bills. The NJ SHARES program
provides grants of up to $1,000 to
those facing temporary financial
troubles. A law passed a year ago
allotted $25 million for emergency
relief. Those funds should finally
be available starting this month.
To apply for an NJ SHARES
grant, call 1-866-657-4273 toll-
free. To apply for the federal Low
Income Home Energy Assistance
Program, call 1-800-510-3102. Also,
call 609-292-6000 to ask Gov.
Chris Christie, R, to continue sup-
porting emergency energy relief.
—Reports by Donya Currie
For other state news, go to
36 aarp.org/bulletin JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2011
BLACK YELLOW MAGENTA CYAN
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