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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Advocates urge Congress to fix Social Security before cuts necessary

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023   

Social Security is a critical benefit for older Americans, which is why advocates want Congress to start working now to ensure the program is maintained for future generations.

Susan Nesbella, a volunteer with AARP Idaho, traveled to Washington, D.C., to celebrate 88 years of Social Security and also explore ways to ensure the program does not experience a shortfall. Nesbella pointed out reserves for the program will be depleted within the next 10 years.

"At that point, if we don't make some changes, there's a chance that there will be a 20% cut to those who are receiving Social Security," Nesbella asserted. "We're just trying to get the conversation started to work on a plan to help resolve that."

More than 370,000 Idahoans receive Social Security benefits. For many, it is a big source of their income as they age. The benefits make up more than 90% of income for more than 45,000 Idahoans age 65 or older.

Nesbella noted everyone benefits from Social Security.

"Even for those who have pensions, many of them rely on that," Nesbella explained. "Some of the folks that are getting pensions now, relative to the cost of living these days, it's not enough. And so they really do need Social Security."

Nesbella added cuts to the program could be detrimental, especially as the cost of living continues to rise. At the beginning of 2023, benefits increased 8.7% to adjust for inflation. It will get a 3.2% boost in 2024.

Disclosure: AARP Idaho contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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