; South Dakota
Fair play prevails With the South
Dakota Unemployment Insurance Trust
Fund balance now topping $30 million,
the state has stopped a practice that long
discriminated against many older workers.
; For years, the state reduced unemploy-
ment benefits for laid-off workers who also
received Social Security retirement income.
A 2006 law backed by AARP outlawed that
practice, contingent on the trust fund main-
taining a balance of $30 million. With the
economy in the doldrums and state coffers
low, the law did not take effect until October
2011. ; Celebrating the policy shift despite
the delay, AARP says the victory was a direct
result of advocacy and is inviting members
to get involved. To learn about issues in the
next legislative session, go to aarp.org/sd. To
volunteer, email email@example.com.
Why wait? AARP is asking lawmakers to
appropriate $400,000 to eliminate the waiting list for a program that helps Wyoming
residents avoid a premature move into costly
nursing home care. ; About 3,000 people
are enrolled in the Community Based In-Home Services program, which provides in-home personal care, adult day care, hospice
and other services. An additional 200 people
needing such services would like to enroll.
Clients pay on a sliding scale, while the state
pays about $2,000 per person per year—far
less than the cost of institutional care. ; The
legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee meets this month to draft a budget proposal, which lawmakers will begin debating
in February. Ask legislators to eliminate the
waiting list. Look for contact information at
Better care To improve care at nursing
homes across the state, AARP is pressing
lawmakers to bring Kansas standards up
to par with federal guidelines. ; Based on
more than 20 years of research, the federal
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
recommends at least 2.75 hours of nurs-
ing care daily, and preferably 3. 9 hours. In
Kansas—where the minimum requirement
is just two hours over a 24-hour period—
nearly a third of nursing homes have been
cited in the past year for one or more defi-ciencies causing harm or putting residents
at risk. ; AARP is encouraging members
to ask lawmakers to support increasing the
hours required. For contact information, go
to kslegislature.org or call 1-800-432-3924.
Navigate aid AARP has launched a
website to help American Indian elders in
Oklahoma locate services that provide food,
transportation, housing and health care.
; The AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Navi-
rently lists nutrition resources and programs
to fight hunger, a pressing issue in a state
where 16 percent of households struggled
to put enough food on the table in 2010.
; AARP is working with the state’s 39
federally recognized tribes to add other
topics soon. The goal is to make the website
a single source of information about pro-
grams that help older American Indians. To
suggest resources, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s entertainment AARP Colorado is hosting performances this month by
the Chicano theater group Su Teatro and
the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble.
; A performance of “El Corrido del Barrio”
is scheduled at 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at El Centro
Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive, in Denver.
Admission is free, but a donation of $3 per
person is requested for Su Teatro’s after-school dropout prevention program. ; The
dance troupe will also perform at 2 p.m.
Dec. 10 at the University of Denver’s Newman Center for Performing Arts, 2344 E.
Iliff Avenue. Discount tickets for the AARP
event are $13 each. ; For more information,
call Roberto Rey toll-free at 1-866-554-5376.
—Reports by Donya Currie
For other state news, go to
The estimated dollar value of a volunteer hour for
each state, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands for 2009.
Value of Volunteers
* VALUE IS BASED
ON THE AVERAGE
WAGE OF NON-MANAGEMEN T,
SUCH AS DOCTORS
OR LAW YERS.