Silver Haired Legislature
The Silver Haired Legislature, or SHL as it is often called, 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. Elections are held annually during the month of May at local area agencies on aging nutrition or senior centers. Senior citizens elect three senators and twelve representatives from each of the ten area agencies on aging for a total of 30 senators and 120 representatives. Following elections, the legislators meet to elect officers and begin to ascertain the needs of seniors in their districts. Bills and resolutions are then drawn up and prepared for presentation at the statewide conference in the fall.
The SHL meets for two days in the fall to conduct a model legislative session. At that time, members present, debate and vote on a pre-prepared docket of bills and resolutions that concern legislation, which affects the lives of not only the elderly but all Missouri citizens. From the docket, five bills having the highest priority are selected as the group’s main focus for the upcoming year.
SHL Delegates convene at the Capitol in Jefferson City each spring for a regular meeting of the Board of Directors as well as a chance to meet with legislators and discuss SHL’s past achievements and current priorities.
SHL Celebrates 50th Anniversary - The Nation's 1st Model
The Missouri Silver Haired Legislature has the distinction of being the very first organization of its kind in the United States. In 1973, a small group of senior citizens met with the President Pro Tem of the Senate, William Cason, to discuss and form a group whose specific purpose was to advocate for senior issues. Throughout the years, the SHL has served as a legitimate voice for older adults, to support legislation to improve the lives of all senior Missourians.
Be a part of the process.The SHL provides an opportunity for seniors to become involved in the legislative process and support issues on behalf of Missouri’s elderly. For more information or questions, contact: SHL@health.mo.gov.
You can take part in our mission by subscribing to our legislative and advocacy email program. If you choose to become a subscriber, you will receive time sensitive alerts and updates on the status of proposed legislation that might directly affect you and your loved ones. Visit https://www.agingahead.org/missouri-shl/ for more information.
Senior Advocacy Week Kick-Off Event: January 31, 2023
July Proposed Bills Committee and Board of Directors Meetings – July 13-14, 2022
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SHL Annual Session – October 18 - 20, 2022
- Proposed Bills and Board of Directors Meeting: July 12-13, 2023; Truman Building Room 500, Jefferson City, MO
- Annual Session: October 17-19, 2023; Capitol Plaza Hotel and State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO