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Maryland Seniors Descend on Annapolis

PHOTO: About 80 Marylanders in the 50-plus set are in Annapolis today to meet with legislators and watch the action in the House and Senate. Photo courtesy of AARP Maryland.
PHOTO: About 80 Marylanders in the 50-plus set are in Annapolis today to meet with legislators and watch the action in the House and Senate. Photo courtesy of AARP Maryland.
February 20, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Dozens of Marylanders age 50-plus are in Annapolis today to learn more about the legislative process and bend a few ears.

About 80 AARP Maryland members will participate.

Tresa Ballard, associate state director of communications at AARP Maryland, says several legislative hearings are scheduled today that are of keen interest to seniors.

One bill, (SB 505) would establish a task force to examine the issues that the state's 770,000 caregivers face.

Ballard points to some unanswered questions.

"Do they have the ability to take off from work when they need it and make sure that their job is protected?” she asks. “Are they able to take care of their loved one at home and afford to do that, if that's what they want to do?"

Ballard says the task force would also look at what kinds of help families need when care-giving at home.

AARP Maryland supports the work of such a task force, which would make recommendations on rules and laws.

Legislation on a related issue, the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act (SB 753), also is being considered.

It would require most employers, including government, to provide earned leave even for part-time employees.

Ballard says another piece of legislation focuses on future generations' ability to retire.

The Secure Choice proposal (SB 921) would create a retirement savings vehicle for Marylanders who don't have access to plans through work.

"And this is especially important for folks who work for companies, organizations, that do not offer 401(k)s,” she explains. “This would create an option for them to be able to put dollars aside pre-tax."


Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD