The Texas Silver-Haired Legislature adopts resolutions biennially in September prior to the Texas Legislative session. Once the resolutions have gained approval by the TSHL, they are ranked with the top ten achieving priority status. The TSHL work throughout the Texas Legislative session to assist the top ten resolutions to become bills passed by the Texas Legislature.
TSHL has helped to pass a great number of bills in the Texas Legislature since its incarnation in 1985. The TSHL selects ten top-priority resolutions each session and puts all efforts towards incorporating them into legislative acts.
Since 1985, more than 600 older Texans have served as Texas Silver-Haired Legislators and have identified 590+ issues concerning older adults in Texas, 1985-2010. The work of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature has resulted in passage of laws contributing to the improved quality of life for older Texans. Significant laws include:
- Establish Legislative Committee on Aging
- Freeze city, county & junior college districts taxes for homesteads of elderly & disabled.
- No eminent domain used for private gain.
- Include senior & disabled homeowners in public schools property tax reduction.
- Increase monthly personal needs allowance for nursing home residents from $45 to $60.
- Establish Silver Alert for missing seniors.
- Lifespan respite services program.
- Theft of a military grave marker.
- Limit property taxes for veterans with 100% service related disability.
- Constitutional amendment determining homestead market value for ad valorem tax
- Expand home delivered meals in rural areas.
- Provide a cap of $250,000 for non-economic damages awarded by juries for malpractice lawsuits.
- Allow grandparent caregivers to enroll grandchild in school & provide access to state programs.
- Criminal history checks of employees and applicants at special care facilities. No contact until criminal background is done
- Restore utility Safety Benefit Fund for low-income discount program.
- Assure no fewer than 28 Area Agencies on Aging in Texas
- Permit AAA benefit counselors to help clients prepare advance directives.
- Creation of volunteer advocate program for elderly persons.
- Fall Prevention Week