Mae Flexer

State Senator

Mae Flexer

Deputy President Pro Tempore & Federal Relations Liaison

An Advocate for Us

January 23, 2018

AARP Names Senator Mae Flexer Its 2017 “Capitol Caregiver”

Flexer awarded by the Connecticut and National AARP for her work supporting seniors

photo of Senator Flexer.

Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson) was recently presented with the 2017 Capitol Caregiver Award by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) as well as the 2017 Family Caregiver award by AARP Connecticut. The AARP cited Senator Flexer’s consistent record of championing legislative efforts to improve healthcare and the quality of life for seniors in Connecticut.

“After working their entire lives, Connecticut seniors have earned a secure and relaxing retirement. I have worked alongside the AARP to help smooth the transition into retirement, to ensure our seniors have access to the healthcare and financial supports they need to enjoy their golden years, and to ensure that financial planners put the interests of seniors first,” said Senator Flexer. “The AARP has been a great partner and advocate in these legislative efforts, and I am honored to receive their recognition for the work we have done together. I look forward to continuing our work in the 2018 legislative session as we make Connecticut an even better place for our seniors.”

“AARP congratulates Senator Flexer for her continued advocacy to protect core senior services that help older adults access services at home like the CT Home Care Program for Elders and family respite. These programs not only help seniors and their family caregivers, but also save taxpayer money on costly nursing home care,” said Nora Duncan, AARP Connecticut State Director.

In the 2017 legislative session, Senator Flexer led the charge on numerous initiatives affecting seniors, including:

Making Retirement Security Available to Everyone

Senator Flexer worked with AARP Connecticut to continue the implementation of the Connecticut Retirement Security Program, which passed in 2016. Once fully implemented, this program will ensure that all Connecticut employees at businesses with five or more employees will have the opportunity to participate in a retirement savings program in order to build a strong financial foundation on which to begin their retirement.

Fighting the Millstone Subsidy

Senator Flexer led the fight in the Senate against a subsidy for the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant. Senator Flexer and the AARP argued that this subsidy would cost Connecticut ratepayers an additional $300 million a year for energy. Millstone claimed the subsidy was needed to continue operations, but declined to disclose their financial need and prove the subsidy was necessary.

Ensuring Better Financial Planning for Seniors

Public Act 17-120 establishes advertising and disclosure requirements for financial planners who are not otherwise regulated by state or federal law. It prohibits financial planners who do not meet certain education requirements from expressing or implying that they have special training, education, or experience serving seniors. It also requires that these financial planners disclose, upon request, whether they have a fiduciary duty with regard to each recommendation they make. These changes will ensure that seniors know they can trust the advice of the financial planners they consult when planning their retirement.

Helping Seniors Stay Close to Family

As Connecticut’s population ages, creative ways to allow elderly people to stay close to home or to family members are being sought, and temporary health care structures, also known as “Granny Pods,” are a potential way to do that, according to the AARP. These structures would serve as a more affordable alternative to nursing homes, allowing seniors to receive the care they need while maintaining the independence of living in a home of their own. Senator Flexer supported the successful passage of Public Act 17-155, which will allow municipalities to approve the placement of granny pods on residential property.