Lege Session with Top 10 Resolutions

New Year's Greetings to my fellow TSHL Members:
I hope that 2021 finds you well, safe, and hopeful for new opportunities. I trust that each of you had a holiday season to your liking, in whatever manner you observed the holidays. The 2020 holiday season is behind us; hopefully, decorations are put away for another year, leftovers are finally gone, and thank you notes are written for holiday gifts. It's time to look to our Texas Legislative Session.

Since the Texas Legislative Session begins today, January 12, it is time to gear up again and be ready to influence Legislators for the benefit of older Texans. I am aware that some of you have been diligent in contacting your state representatives and senators during this interim period. If you have NOT done so already, I highly encourage you to make contact with all of the state reps & senators from your AAA district. Yes, I am aware that some of you have MANY in your district. I believe that Harris county has about 25 state reps. Tarrant County has 14. (My 9-county Ark-Tex has five.) It is great for more than one TSHL member to contact your legislators. You may have different areas of focus that you want to emphasize to the legislators. PLEASE do NOT expect someone else to make the contacts for you. Emails, phone calls, texts if you have a short message and have the correct phone numbers, or whatever form you choose to use will work. This term contacts will need to be made primarily via electronic mode since in-person meetings will be extremely limited for the next several months. However, this levels the playing field for those who do not live near Austin.

A hard copy and an electronic copy of our Legislative Report have been sent to each legislator. However, feel free to send individual copies of those Resolutions that you are most passionate about. Or, if a staffer does not have the Report, send them an electronic copy of the entire Legislative Report. Getting the Report completed was actually step one. Now, we need to get sponsors for the Resolutions so that they will be turned into bills. Then we start the advocacy process with all of the legislators. PLEASE, for the next 140 days or until May 31, watch your TSHL mailboxes for requests to send out emails to your legislators when a particular bill comes up that we want passed or voted down. If your legislators already know you, they will be more inclined to be influenced by your request.

I truly believe that this is a term where we can get the attention focused on some of our long-term desires, such as broadband, rural health care, Medicaid expansion, telemedicine, and others. The pandemic has vividly pointed out where our state is lacking; our representatives are aware of these issues. But, they will probably need some "push" to get them voted through in a session that will be overshadowed by budget constraints and redistricting. Therefore, I need your renewed commitment to work with the legislators in your district. Please remember that every current member of TSHL is needed to help. Our current term runs until July 2021, so whether or not you plan to return for another term, you are a member NOW. We need you to continue your advocacy efforts.

Many, many thanks for all you have done and will do during the upcoming Legislative Session!

Rhonda Rogers, Speaker
Texas Silver-Haired Legislature

18th Texas Silver-Haired Legislature’s
Adopted July 29, 2020

  1. Support Evidence-Based Testing of Cannabis and Allow Licensed Physicians to Legally Prescribe Medical Cannabis
  2. Preserve or Increase Funding for Home-Delivered Meals
  3. Increase Medicaid Reimbursement to Improve the Quality of Texas Nursing Home Care
  4. Increase Access to Healthcare for Seniors Via Telemedicine
  5. Prevent Financial Abuse of Older Adult Citizens
  6. Grant Full Practice Authority for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)
  7. Offer the Citizens of Texas the Opportunity to Vote on the Expansion of Medicaid
  8. Strengthen Public Policy and Initiatives to Expand Rural Broadband Infrastructure in Texas
  9. Increase the Personal Needs Allowance for Medicaid Residents in Nursing Homes
  10. Enhance Criminal Degree and Fines for Those Who Perpetrate Internet Fraud Against Seniors

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

February 11, 2 pm virtual
April, date and time TBD
July 18, time and place TBD
July 18-23, Orientation, place TBD