17th TSHL Biennial Legislative Session

The 17th Texas Silver-Haired Legislature (TSHL) held its biennial legislative session from April 22 – 26, 2018, at the Texas State Capitol. The TSHL holds these sessions in the years that the Texas Legislature is in recess. Over the course of four days, 65 elected TSHL legislators, representing senior constituents from across the state, introduced resolutions aimed at improving the lives of older Texans. TSHL members shepherded the resolutions through committee hearings where they are approved, rejected, or revised. The standing TSHL committees include Criminal Justice, Education, Health & Human Resources, Human Services, Insurance, Retirement & Aging, Rural-Urban Affairs, State Affairs, and Utilities & Natural Resources.

Resolutions that survived both the committee hearings and a final review by the Legislative Action Committee are then brought to the Texas House floor for debate. The final slate of resolutions is then voted on to determine the TSHL Top 10 Resolutions which will represent the TSHL legislative priorities in the 86th Texas Legislative Session in 2019.

TSHL members will present copies of the 2018 TSHL Legislative Report to Governor Abbott and the Texas legislators prior to the 2019 Texas Legislative Session.

17th Texas Silver-Haired Legislature Presents Top Legislative Priorities for 2019

Of 66 resolutions the 17th Texas Silver-Haired Legislature considered this April, 48 passed. Following, in vote order, are the top 10 priorities for the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019:

  1. Increase and maintain financial strength of the TRS Defined-Benefit Pension Plan.
  2. Preserve or increase funding for home-delivered meals.
  3. Promote evidence-based testing of cannabis and allow licensed physicians to prescribe medical cannabis without fear of prosecution.
  4. Reform TRS-Care by increasing the state’s contribution rate (committed funding).
  5. Increase personal needs allowance for Medicaid residents in nursing homes.
  6. Enhance criminal degree and fines for those who perpetrate internet fraud against seniors.
  7. Reject conversion of TRS pension from defined-benefit to defined-contribution plan.
  8. Hold Companies selling reverse mortgages to the Standard of Truth in Advertising
  9. Increase access to healthcare for seniors via telemedicine.
  10. Require FBI background checks for nurses’ aides and LVN’s in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health companies.

TSHL Goals

  • Promote Good Government: Motivate, engage and educate older Texans in the legislative process
  • Encourage voice: Inform and educate older Texans to become viable political voices and forces
  • Provide Opportunity: Offer the avenue for older Texans to serve as a resource to public and private sectors on aging issues and concerns
  • Model Legislative Forum: Develop a non-partisan forum for discussion, debate and prioritization of issues facing aging Texans
  • Develop Advocates: Educate the Texas Silver-Haired Legislators to advocate for adoption of aging resolutions submitted to the Texas Legislature

Public Comments

You are invited to submit your concerns about aging issues or questions about TSHL. Questions will be answered by a TSHL member.

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Dates to Remember

July 26, 2018-TSHL Executive Committee meeting, Lubbock
October 2018-TSHL Executive Committee meeting, Date & Place TBD
January 2019-TSHL Executive Committee meeting, Date & Place TBD