Committee on Aging was 'silver-haired' success

Those born in the United States after World War II from 1946 to 1964 have been labeled as the Baby Boomer generation.

The oldest of this group is retirement age (63) and they now, each year, will have many more eligible people that qualify for government programs.

In 1965 the Older American's Act was signed into law. This was a major step in the direction of protecting and providing for the elderly of this nation.

The Silver Haired Legislature got its start after the Older American's Act was amended to include funding for organ izing advocacy groups for American citizens 60 or older.

Today more than 80 percent of the 50 states have developed Silver Haired Legislatures.

The Texas Silver Haired Legislature (TSHL) held its inaugural session in September 1986.

TSHL holds a mock legislative session on the off year when the Texas Legislature is not in session.

Years the legislature meets, members of TSHL actively follow bills that pertain to the welfare of the elderly.

They speak to legislators and sponsor Town Hall meetings to educate senior citizens of beneficial programs and generally make the voices of Texas seniors heard loud and clear.

TSHL members are assigned to serve on one of nine Legislative Issue Committees. Anyone wanting to speak for or against this issue can come before t he appropr iate c ommit tee.

Resolutions are either killed in committee or are sent to the Legislative Action Committee, made up of TSHL officers and all the nine LIC chairs.

Again the resolution must pass on its merits and be sent to the general assembly for a vote or the resolution may die, if the LAC does not vote to send it forward

Resolutions passed by the General Assembly are sent to the Texas Legislature.

The TSHL prioritize the top 10 resolutions. The TSHL Speaker-of-the-House pre- sented these in Milano in June.

The No. 1 resolution was to create a Legislative Committee on Aging at the state level.

This issue was well received by the Texas Senators and the members of the House of Representatives. It is now signed into law.

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