This legislature was created in 1973 by a small group of seniors whose specific purpose was the advocate for senior issues, and the Missouri group was the first organization of its type in the United States.
Some of the earliest proposals passed into law include Exploitation of the Elderly, the MO Senior RX Program, implementation of elder abuse laws, and the deletion of sales tax on pharmaceuticals.
The Silver Haired Legislature (SHL) group is is a formally elected body of citizens 60 years of age and older that promote conscientious legislative advocacy for Missouri’s older adults. All members are volunteers who serve without pay.
Delegates are elected annually in May from each of Missouri’s ten Area Agencies on Aging, and all legislators meet annually for a model legislative session at the State Capitol to deliver five priority proposals.
SHL Interview: 50 Years of Successful Advocacy! Interview with SHL member, Dorothy Knowles, who shares the wonderful story of SHL and impact on KY3 News, Springfield, MO.
Watch the Slideshow from the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Silver Hair Legislature in Missouri
SHL 2024 Top Five Legislative Priorities
- Increased Funding for Transportation to Provide Additional Options for Seniors
- Increased Accessibility to Public Buildings for Individuals with Disabilities
- Required Special Dementia Training in Long-Term Care Facilities
- Increase the Medicaid Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) to $100 Per Month with an Inflation Rider
- Money Recovered by MO HealthNet to be Returned to the MO HealthNet Program
Some of Missouri’s SHL accomplishments include:
1973 | Appropriations for transportation
1974 | “Circuit breaker” housing tax credit for seniors
1976 | Revision of the nursing home inspection law; Revision of probate code; Appropriation for in-home services
1977 | Deletion of sales tax on pharmaceuticals
1982 | Revised guardianship code
1983 | Durable power of attorney to make healthcare decisions; Statutory recognition of Division of Aging and AAAs
1987 | Improvement of statutory lien law
1988 | Protection of volunteers from civil suits; Elder abuse law
1997 | Improvement of regulations for managed care and HMO’s; $3.2 million appropriation for home-delivered meals
1998 | Increased dependency deduction on Missouri income taxes; Revision of “circuit breaker” law
1999 | Pharmaceutical tax credits; Permanent funding for CLAIM
2000 | Addressed Financial Exploitation of the Elderly
2001 | Creation of a Department of Health & Senior Services
2002 | Creation of the Missouri Senior Rx Program
2003 | Nursing Home Bill SB 556; Financial Support for the Missouri Senior Rx Program
2004 | Creation of Missouri Homestead Act
2005 | Modification of provision in various healthcare and social service programs
2006 | Appropriation of $1 million for home-delivered meals
2009 | Strengthened pre-need funeral regulations; Increased personal needs allowance for Medicaid residents in long- term care facilities
2010 | Notification of liens against real estate property
2012 | Strengthened protections for elderly and disabled Missourians against financial exploitation
2015 | Senior Savings Protection Act; Deletion of Sales Tax on Pharmaceuticals
2019 | Senior Farmers market Nutrition Program; Senior Services Growth and Development Program
2020 | Asset Limit Increase for MO HealthNet Eligibility
2021| Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities
2023 | No tax on Social Security; Property Tax Reform