By Missy Masterson Hale, May 10, 2022

The Department of Human Services, Division of Aging, Adult and Behavioral Services, and the Arkansas Area Agencies on Aging work cooperatively to manage all phases of this statewide project. The Silver Haired Legislative Session (SHLS) has been conducted biennially since its institution by a General Assembly resolution sponsored by Rep. B. G. Hendrix and the late Rep. W. F. “Bill” Foster in 1977. It is one of at least 28 such sessions held throughout the country to give senior citizens a chance to participate in the legislative process.

One of the purposes of the SHLS is to bring important aging issues to the attention of state legislators and the general public. A primary goal is to help SHL Delegates to become effective advocates for all senior citizens.

Since the passage of the authorizing resolution, Silver Haired Legislative Sessions have been held in the summer or fall of even-numbered years, prior to the convening of the Arkansas General Assembly the following January.

The 22nd Biennial Silver Haired Legislative Session will take place on August 17 – 18, 2022 at the State Capitol.  Delegates serve as legislators in this non-partisan session by writing, debating, and voting on bills addressing issues critical to older Arkansans. All legislation is distributed to the Arkansas General Assembly and to organizations involved in working with the senior population. Training sessions are currently being held throughout Arkansas.

I am the Delegate to the SHLS from Hot Springs Village and I would like to hear from you. What are your concerns? What difficulties are you having? Please email me at [email protected] so I can bring your issues to the attention of the Silver Haired Legislative Session.  If enough seniors are having the same or similar problems, we can write the bills that will bring them before the State of Arkansas General Assembly, as well as other Aging organizations. 

If you’re located in a state other than Arkansas, do an internet search to see if your state has a Silver Haired Legislature… 28 states do! You can click the link below for more information.