Ozark County Senior Center board member Diane White of Gainesville attended the annual senior advocacy day at the Capitol with the Missouri Silver-Haired Legislature (SHL) March 6. White was joined by delegates from around the state for the regular meeting of the SHL board of directors, where words of encouragement from various speakers were shared and the group had a chance to deliver their message in person to their respective legislators.
Last fall the delegates gathered for their 41st annual conference and identified these top five priorities to support for the 2015 legislative session: restoring funding for home-delivered and congregate meals provided by the Area Agencies on Aging, increasing funding for programs and services provided by the Area Agencies on Aging, expanding Medicaid eligibility from the current level to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, increasing the Missouri HealthNet allowable asset level to $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a couple and retaining the property tax credit known as the “circuit breaker.”
Missouri’s SHL was founded in 1973, the first such organization in the nation after the Older Americans Act was amended to include advocacy groups. It consists of 15 volunteers from each of the 10 statewide Area Agencies on Aging. These 150 senior advocates, elected by their peers, identify and advocate for issues critical to older Missourians.