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Silver Haired Legislature takes resolutions to Topeka
Janice Walker at Topeka 2019
Janice Walker, Great Bend, sits at the Capitol in Topeka as the regional representative to the Silver Hair Legislature, in this photo from the October 2019 meeting. The SHL presented its annual report to the Kansas Legislature on Jan. 23.

Janice Walker, a Silver Haired Legislature representative from Great Bend, said the SHL is taking the following resolutions to Topeka for the 2020 Kansas Legislative Session:

• Resolution 3701 – Supporting the Expansion of Medicaid in Kansas, provided the Federal Government pays the promised 90% share.

• Resolution 3702 – Supporting the continuation and expansion of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) collaborative community-based comprehensive and coordinated Statewide Public Transportation System providing public transportation for senior citizens to get to medical appointments and hospitals.

• Resolution 3703 – Urging the Kansas Legislature to exempt purchases of food and food items from Kansas Sales Tax

• Resolution 3704 – Urging the Kansas Legislature to provide full funding for the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), and provide for some type of Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

• Resolution 3705 – Urging the Kansas Legislature and Governor Kelly to continue to protect grandparents’ rights regarding the placement, legal guardianship, and adoption of grandchildren who need care, with some form of financial assistance. 

• Resolution 3706 – Supporting the expansion of Medicinal Cannabis that contains a very low percentage of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

• Bill 3707 – To provide for increased funding in the Kansas Senior Care Act to improve Aging and Disability Services designed to keep people in their homes and out of institutions. In addition, this bill authorizes additional care for Oral Hygiene (Dental), Vision, Hearing, and Foot Issues.

Resolutions were determined when the SHL met at the Capitol in Topeka last October. Don Woodward, Speaker of the Kansas SHL, gave the group’s annual presentation on Jan. 23, also at Topeka. Woodard, 76, is a retiree living in rural Auburn.

The Kansas Legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution #1649 in 1982 that created the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature, which is a unicameral legislature patterned after the Kansas House of Representatives. Silver Haired Legislators must be 60 years of age and be elected from their county of residence.

Each one of the 105 counties is represented. The primary goals of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature are to identify concerns of the senior citizens, develop bills and resolutions to address those concerns and to present those proposed resolutions to the Governor’s office and to the Kansas Legislature as recommendations for state policy. All Silver Haired Legislators are volunteers as there is no funding allocated to the Silver Haired Legislature.

Anyone who would like more information about the SHL may contact Janice Walker, 620-617-4568.