What is the Silver Haired Legislature?

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by members of the Silver Haired Legislature 

The South Carolina Silver Haired Legislature (SCSHL) was created in 1999 by the South Carolina General Assembly and signed into law by Governor James H. Hodges.

The SCSHL is an advocacy group working to educate and create awareness among legislators and the general public of issues facing the community and the importance of align-ing public policy to address the need.

Representatives and Alternates are elected by counties on a ratio of one each per 10,000 South Carolinians over age sixty. SCSHL Representatives must be registered voters over the age of 60 who are elected in their counties to serve in the unicameral body.

The South Carolina Silver Haired Legislature meets ev-ery September in legislative session to formulate the reso-lutions that will be presented to the South Carolina General Assembly the following January.

The South Carolina Silver Haired Legislature was created:

• To identify issues, concerns and possible solutions for problems faced by the citizens of South Carolina, with special emphasis on issues related to seniors.

• To make recommendations to the Governor and to members of the SC General Assembly;

• To educate the public on Senior issues

• To encourage seniors to participate actively in public affairs;

• To function on a nonpartisan basis;

• To promote good government for all South Carolinians;

• To hold a Legislative Session annually

Regional Area Caucuses meet throughout the year. Members of each Caucus prepare resolutions to be presented to the Speaker, who then, based on the topics, assigns them to six legislative committees. All Representatives participate as the committees debate their resolutions and submit three from each committee to the Speaker. The resolutions are distributed to the Representatives for discussion, voting, and listing in priority order at the annual legislative session held every year in September. The final approved resolutions are presented to the SC General Assembly, the Governor, and others in South Carolina.

Area Agencies on Aging, which play an important role in the ongoing local activities, works directly with the ten Area Caucuses. Each AAA assists the caucus in its region with is-sues affecting South Carolina seniors.

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These are the Top Three Legislative Priorities for 2015

To be presented to the first Session of the 121st General Assembly of South Carolina

1st -Funding For In-Home and Community-Based Services

That the General Assembly enact and the Governor sign legislation to provide funds as requested by the Lieutenant Governor’sOffice on Aging for in-home and community-based services.

2nd -Funding for Guardian ad litem Program for Vulnerable Adults

That the General Assembly enact and the Governor sign legislation to provide adequate recurring funding for the guardian ad litem statute.

3rd -Adequate Funding for the Abused Elderly

That the General Assembly enact and the Governor sign legislation to provide adequate statewide funding for necessary life-sustaining shelter, rent, and services needed to care for elderly victims of abuse who must be removed from their places of residency.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services Administration on Aging, South Carolina’s senior population is growing at one of the fastest rates in the country. The senior population in South Carolina is projected to double by 2030. Currently we have around 950,000 seniors in the state. The Silver Haired Legislature encourages you to know who your elected officials are as well as your representatives in the SCSHL. Share your views, ideas, show support or disapproval for pending legislation. Make phone calls, write letters, send e-mails! Get involved.

SCSeal“I Salute the flag of South Carolina and Pledge to the Palmetto State love, loyalty and faith.” 

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