#b#Stop Rate Hike#/b#

PSE&G’s unprecedented request to hike utility rates by almost $4 billion dollars won’t necessarily produce more reliable service during major storms for PSE&G customers. Only 39 percent might see less frequent outages or outages of a shorter duration, leaving 61 percent still in the dark during a storm like Sandy, and of those who will, perhaps by only a couple of hours. But 100 percent will pay higher utility bills for years to come.

AARP doesn’t oppose reinforcing our utility infrastructure. We support a system that is affordable, safe, and reliable. But because there is little to no evidence that PSE&G’s latest proposal can pass a common sense cost-benefit test, AARP urges regulators to send PSE&G back to the drawing board.

AARP is working to ensure that ratepayers only pay for what’s needed and will work — and not a dime more. AARP devotes significant energy to important pocketbook issues. AARP fought for and won funding for the Senior Freeze property tax rebate program and will continue to push for full Homestead Benefit restoration. New Jersey’s fiscal cocktail of the nation’s highest property taxes with the seventh highest electric rates forces many homeowners, particularly seniors living on fixed and moderate-incomes, to make tough decisions between healthcare, food, or heat — decisions no one in the Garden State should have to make.

Evelyn Liebman

Associate State Director

for Advocacy, AARP New Jersey

101 Rockingham Row, Forrestal Village

#b#2,000 Kids Helped#/b#

Thank you to the generous and loving individuals who made sure that Christmas morning will be merry and bright for over 2,000 of our area’s poorest kids by participating in this year’s HomeFront Christmas Wishes drive. Viewing the amazing results of your efforts is always a magical time for staff and visitors at HomeFront. Our warehouse seems like the North Pole and always puts a look of wonder on even the oldest and most jaded!

However, what you all have done for these kids born into homelessness and poverty is about so much more than toys and clothes and the magic of Christmas. It is about belief, not only in Christmas, but the children’s belief in themselves as special and valuable people. Your personalized gifts show that someone out there is thinking of them and cares who they are — that they are cherished and important. Your efforts have laid another big brick on the path each of them will need to walk to work toward a solid future.

Your generosity has, once again, left me hopeful. Thank you all.

Connie Mercer

Executive Director, HomeFront

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