Silver Haired Legislature

Promoting legislative interests of Missouri's older adults

Founded in 1973, the Silver Haired Legislature (SHL) is a group of elected volunteers 60 and older who promote the legislative interests of Missouri's older adults. SHL is a statewide organization that coordinates with the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to identify volunteer delegates representing each Missouri county. Each year SHL delegates solicit feedback from their communities to develop five legislative priorities for the following year. SHL delegates then advocate for those priorities with their senators and representatives during legislative sessions.

Silver Haired Legislature meeting

The MARC Silver Haired Legislature delegation is made up of volunteers from Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties. SHL Volunteers participate in the following activities each year:

  1. Solicit feedback about the needs and interests of older adults in their districts.
  2. Research policies and programs serving older adults in other.
  3. Meet in the fall to participate in a model legislative session to determine the next year’s priorities. The members present, debate and vote on a docket of bills and resolutions.
  4. Advocate to their senators and representatives about the SHL legislative priorities. A Silver Hair Legislature Advocacy Day is held at the capitol annually.

Get involved

Interested in volunteering with SHL? Please submit an interest form and a member of our team will follow-up with you shortly. 

Please note: we have two vacancies in Platte county and are actively recruiting volunteers. If you are in Cass, Clay, Jackson or Ray counties we can place you on a waitlist.

2024 Legislative Priorities

SHL delegates chose the following issues as their top five priorities to support for the 2024 legislative session:

  1. Increase funding for transportation services to provide additional options for seniors.
  2. Increase accessibility to public buildings for individuals with disabilities.
  3. Require special dementia training in long-term care facilities.
  4. Increase the Medicaid Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) to $100 per month with an inflation rider.
  5. Money recovered by MO HealthNet to be returned to the MO HealthNet Program. 

50th Anniversary

The Missouri Silver Haired Legislature has the distinction of being the very first organization of its kind in the United States. In 1973, a small group of senior citizens met with the President Pro Tem of the Senate, William Cason, to discuss and form a group whose specific purpose was to advocate for issues impacting older adults. Throughout the years, SHL has served as a legitimate voice for older adults, to support legislation to improve the lives of Missourians.

Please visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for more information on the SHL. 

Silver Haired Legislature program logo