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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

AARP warns legislators about hitting seniors with higher utility costs



Most people over age 50 in Florida are concerned about their rising utility bills, with four in 10 already "struggling" to make payments, according to a January poll conducted by AARP Florida.

The survey sends a cautionary warning to lawmakers, said Jeff Johnson, the organization's interim director, as they consider bills to de-regulate telephones this session and others to raise utility fees to pay for economic development.

The organization said they would oppose any effort to implement a recommendation by Gov. Rick Scott's transition team to raise utility rates for current customers to offer lower utility costs to businesses willing to move to Florida. "Doing it on the backs of people who are already strugging to make ends meet...seems wrong,'' he said.

The poll of "Dreams and Challenges" for Floridians over 50, finds that many are delaying retirement in the midst of this recession and financial issues are a top concern. Among the concerns is the cost of electricity, the difficulty paying out-of-pocket medical expenses and rising fixed costs -- such as utility bills.


[Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2011 3:25pm]


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