Silver Haired Legislature chooses key priorities

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

If made law, can improve lives of Missouri seniors

Pictured is Ron Clark, majority leader for the Silver Haired Legislature. Clark, who lives in Shell Knob, is a representative for the legislature, advocating for seniors' needs. He will be speaking soon at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, as well as Monett and other area senior centers, about five key priorities for seniors that will be discussed and potentially made into law in 2017 that could ultimately improve the lives of Missouri seniors. Contributed photos

The 43rd Annual Conference of the Silver Haired Legislature took place at the state capitol in Jefferson City on Oct. 18, 19, and 20. The 118 delegates in attendance formulated plans to advocate for senior issues during the upcoming legislative session. After spirited debates in the legislative chambers, the delegates chose the following issues as their top five priorities for the 2017 legislative session, which, if enacted into law, could help improve the lives of Missouri seniors

* Senior Services Growth and Development Fund

* Increase funding for the Home Delivered and Congregate Meals provided by area agencies on aging

* Expand Mo HealthNet (Medicaid)

* Provide financial assistance to seniors for medically necessary hearing aid devices, vision services, and dental care through MO HealthNet (Medicaid)

* Reauthorize funding for MoRx Program

Missouri's Silver Haired Legislature was founded in 1973, the first in the nation after the Older Americans Act was amended to include advocacy groups. The SHL is composed 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.

Ron Clark of Shell Knob, area Silver Haired representative, was recently elected majority leader for SHL. Clark plans to meet with area seniors at Central Crossing Senior Center as well as Cassville, Monett and the other senior centers in the area soon, where he plans to discuss these issues and proposals in detail and share how seniors can help ensure these proposals become law. More information on dates and times will be provided as it becomes available. For more information about the priorities of the Silver Haired Legislature, call or text Ron Clark at (417)671-1890, or by email,