AARP Legislative Recap - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

AARP Legislative Recap

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The session is over and lawmakers are back home. But some people are still trying to figure out everything that was passed during the longest session on record. Representatives of AARP have been taking time to meet with members to help them understand how some of the legislation affects them.

For Dianne Billey, making the two and a half our drive from Ellendale to Bismarck was worth it to get more information on the 63rd legislative session.

"I probably wasn't quite as aware of all the issues during the legislature as I wanted to be and I wanted to find out what they were."

AARP Representatives shared what was passed that will likely have an impact on their members. A major topic being the Medicaid expansion.

"There are over 4,300 North Dakotans between the ages of 50-64 who may now qualify for health insurance coverage who previously didn't have access to it and that's just a very critical piece," said AARP State Director Janis Cheney.

Other legislation that passed provides funding to assist with guardianship of elderly and disabled individuals, who may not have someone to look out for them.

"In many ways it's a safeguard in that you have someone else making sure that their health and safety is really well managed and taken care of for them and it keeps them in the least restrictive environment as well," said AARP Volunteer State President Rodger Wetzel.

While Wetzel and Cheney say many good things came out of the session to help their members, there is something that concerns them.

"I think the thing that we were a little disappointed in was the voter ID legislation. We have a significant concern that it's going to put roadblocks in the way of people, particularly older people, who may have difficulty getting to a place where they can get the ID that's going to be required," Cheney said.

She says they will follow the implementation of that law as it takes affect in August, to make sure that it doesn't hider any citizens from voting.

Another meeting will take place tomorrow in Dickinson. Call 866-554-5383 for more information.

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