Kansas Silver Haired Legislature

The Kansas Silver Haired Legislature (SHL) is a unicameral legislature composed of 125 representatives. All are over 60 and are elected from their county residence.  The legislature provides an educational experience in the political process and provides an opportunity to identify priority concerns of Kansas senior citizens. The SHL develops bills and resolutions which are presented to the Kansas Legislature and the Governor as recommendations for state policy.

Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging is has 1 delegate from Jefferson County, 1 delegate from Douglas County and 6 delegates from Shawnee County.

What is the Purpose of Silver Haired Legislature?

To advocate for older adults and provide a voice for the older community at the state and federal level.  Emphasis is on the following:

• To Educate – Provide information to the community about issues and steps to take to advocate for bills and resolutions.

• To Advocate – Actions of the SHL inform the public and the Kansas Legislature about concerns of the older adults in the community.

• To Involve – The SHL provides thousands of older adults a way to become involved at the local, state and federal level by encouraging them to advocate for issues meaningful to older adults.

Silver Haired Legislature Current Issues

  • A resolution urging the Kansas Legislature to support and fund transportation for the elderly
  • A resolution urging the Kansas Legislature and the governor to fully fund all KPERS obligations and to stop delaying employer contributions in order to balance the state general fund
  • A resolution urging the Kansas Legislature and the governor to fund a cost of living adjustment for retired members of KPERS
  • A resolution urging the Kansas Legislature to continue support for the expansion of Medicaid in Kansas
  • A bill to repeal the Property Tax Lid bill, which was passed in 2016 and is scheduled to go into effect in January of 2018
  • A bill to provide property tax relief for qualifying seniors with incomes under $22.500 per year
  • A bill to require insurance companies to report to the state when a person’s car insurance is dropped
  • A bill to provide economic support for grandparents who become foster parents to their grandchildren

 

How is the Silver Haired Legislature Funded?

The SHL is funded by the local Area Agency on Aging and donations from interested parties.  Silver Haired Legislators serve at their time and expense to support SHL.  Contributions are tax deductible.   Any Kansan aged 60 and over who is a registered voter may file for candidacy. The term of office is two years and elections take place every two years. Members may be re-elected.

How are Silver Haired Legislators Elected?

Silver Haired Legislator elections are conducted by the Area Agencies on Aging across the state every two years. Candidate registration forms, petitions and filing instructions are available from any Area Agency on Aging.  For individuals interested being a delegate to the Silver Haired Legislature in Shawnee, Jefferson, and Douglas counties contact Sharon Wright Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging 785-235-1367 or 1-800-798-1366 or swright@jhawkaaa.org

What are the responsibilities of a Silver Haired Legislator?

  • The SHL is to advocate for legislation introduced by the SHL.
  • Testify at hearings on SHL legislation.
  •  Meet with older adults in their county/district on SHL legislation affecting the community 60 years of age and older.

Your donations are needed to help fund SHL’s advocacy efforts: 

SHL representatives are volunteers and the cost of their advocacy efforts is funded through their own contributions, donations from local companies/organizations and private individuals. Donations are accepted to help fund advocacy efforts of this group including the annual conference for all SHL delegates, travel, accommodations and printing of brochures and other educational materials.  For more information on how you can help contact Sharon Wight at 785-235-1367 or 1-800-798-1366 or email at swright@jhawkaaa.org