Helping grandparents and older workers in the Mid-Atlantic
listing price in
each state and
D.C., in thousands.
SOURCE: TRULIA; PRICES AS OF MARCH 30, 2011
; West Virginia
Whittling a regressive tax
West Virginians will get at least a
penny per dollar break on grocery costs starting Jan. 1, 2012.
Lawmakers passed the tax cut
in March and are debating the
precise amount. ; AARP has supported reducing the state’s food
tax over the past several years.
The tax dropped from 6 percent
to 3 percent in 2005. In the most
recent legislative session, Senate
President and acting Gov. Earl Ray
Tomblin, D, proposed a new reduction, lowering the tax below 2
percent. ; The tax cut applies to
groceries but not prepared food,
soft drinks or vending machine
fare, which are taxed at 6 percent.
AARP will continue to press for
eliminating any tax on groceries.
To learn more, go to aarp.org/wv.
; New Jersey
Hold the phone AARP is part
of a coalition fighting a move to
deregulate cable and telephone
services in the state. ; Monthly
utility bills already strain the budgets of two-thirds of New Jerseyans age 50 and older, according
to a recent AARP survey. Consumer advocates say deregulation
would result in even higher bills
and could push customers with
landlines into buying “bundled”
services. Moreover, it could hamstring customers’ ability to contest
rate increases, poor service quality
or unexplained charges on their
bills. ; Similar legislation in other
states has resulted in sharp rate
increases—as much as 63 percent
in two years. ; The legislation
(S 2664) is sponsored by Sens.
Raymond J. Lesniak, D, Stephen
Sweeney, D, and Thomas H. Kean,
R. To ask your senator to vote
against the bill, call the legislative
hotline at 1-800-844-2272.
Driving down hunger In a state where 16 percent of residents
reported not having enough money to buy food at some time in the
past year, AARP is working to ease hunger pangs. ; In early spring,
the AARP Foundation presented a southwest Virginia food bank with
a $10,000 check, while shoppers donated more than $7,000 at local
Kroger grocery stores—enough to purchase 75,000 meals. As part of
AARP’s and the AARP Foundation’s national Drive to End Hunger,
NASCAR fans donated money at the Martinsville Speedway in April.
Fans will again be part of a statewide food drive in conjunction with a
September race in Richmond. ; To learn more, visit drivetoendhunger
.org. To make a $10 donation from your mobile phone, text the word
“hunger” to 50555.
; District of Columbia
Helping grandparents AARP is urging District council members
to restore cuts to the Grandparent Caregiver Program, which provides
subsidies to grandparents who care full-time for their grandchildren.
; The 33 percent cut in subsidies has been a hardship, many of these
grandparents told council members during budget talks earlier this
year. AARP is pressing to restore $1.78 million to the program. ; Before
cuts, the grandparent caregiver subsidy was $9,000 a year, less than
one-fifth the cost of foster care, says James McSpadden, AARP associate state director for advocacy. Moving the 610 children in the program
into the foster care system would add more than $22 million to the annual budget. ; To learn more about the issue, go to aarp.org/dc.
; North Carolina
Legislative liaisons With a
change in the General Assembly’s
majority party and a continuing
state budget squeeze, AARP is de-
veloping a network of volunteers
to keep in touch with lawmakers
in their home districts. ; Trained
in communication skills and AARP
issues, these key contacts will talk
with their own senators and repre-
sentatives by phone, by email and
face-to-face. They will push for a
family caregiver tax break, more
funding for home- and commu-
nity-based services and broader
eligibility for the homestead prop-
erty tax exemption for low-income
older or disabled homeowners.
; To learn more about AARP
North Carolina’s legislative priori-
ties, go to aarp.org/nc.
—Reports by Donya Currie
For other state news, go to