39th Annual Session News Release

Press Release, Immediate Release Requested
Kansas Silver Haired Legislature completes 39th Annual Session
November 22, 2021

Manhattan, KS – Since 1982, the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature (KSHL) met in legislative sessions during October to determine issues to present to the Kansas Legislature. On November 16, 2021, the KSHL met for the 39th year via a hybrid virtual legislative session to carry out business. KSHL current activities were reviewed. The session convened via ZOOM. At the end of the four-and-one-half hour session, the 50+ delegates adjourned, satisfied that their work had been completed.

KSHL Speaker Randall Hardy (Saline County) now has a list of seven resolutions of importance to Older Kansans to deliver to the Kansas Legislature and Governor Kelly in January. The seven issues passed by the delegates are:

• Bill 3901: Expansion of Medicaid in Kansas.
• Resolution 3902: A RESOLUTION supporting wireless broadband access for all senior Kansans, including the training and assistance for use of wireless internet.
• Resolution 3903: A RESOLUTION urging the Legislature and the Governor of the State of Kansas to fully fund all KPERS obligations, to stop delaying KPERS employer contributions payments and to fund a cost-of-living adjustment for retired members of KPERS.
• Resolution 3904: A RESOLUTION urging the Legislature of the State of Kansas to continue supporting and funding collaborative community-based transportation for senior citizens.
• Resolution 3905: A RESOLUTION urging the Legislature of the State of Kansas to support 2021 Senate Bill No. 76, or similar legislation, during the 2022 regular session to provide property tax relief for certain senior citizens and allow these individuals to maintain their standard of living amidst continually rising property taxes.
• Resolution 3906: A RESOLUTION urging the Legislature of the State of Kansas to legalize the expanded medical use of cannabis.
• Resolution 3907: A RESOLUTION urging the Legislature and the Governor of the State of Kansas to continue to protect grandparent rights, especially when considering the placement, legal guardianship and adoption of grandchildren who are in need of care, and to allow more grandparents in the raising of their grandchildren in Kansas. This resolution includes lowering the age of qualifying grandparents from 50 to 40 as well as provisions for reimbursement of grandparents similar to what foster parents receive.

These issues represent the culmination of the KSHL delegates work that started in April 2921 when the 11 KSHL area delegations developed their lists of legislative priorities of concern of Older Kansans. In July, the KSHL Executive Board and delegates met, reviewed, and discussed the 64 submitted issues and distilled them into the seven issues which were discussed and voted on this week.

Earlier in the day, KSHL President Ross Boelling (Dickinson County) gave the delegates an update on KSHL activities including:

• Receiving a Leadership Transformation Grant from the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) which will provide 60 training slots for KSHL Delegates in 2022 KLC programs.
• Formation of a Strategic Planning committee to review KSHL operations and future plans.
• Updates on KSHL delegate Jan Kimbrell’s (Morris County) participation on the Older Kansans Task Force.
• Awarding the $1,000 KSHL Irv Hoffman Nursing Scholarship to Christina Marr of Kechi, KS.

Delegates also heard an excellent presentation on the COVID-19 Pandemic from Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Dr. Norman covered the growth and response to the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as offered suggestions for precautions to take during the upcoming holiday season.

Leslie Anderson, Executive Director of K4AD gave a presentation on the Kansas Area Agencies on Aging and disability history as well as their long-time interaction with, and support of, the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature.

The Kansas Silver Haired Legislature (KSHL) was created in 1982 by Kansas Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 1649, which was passed by the Legislature. It created a unicameral legislature composed of up to 125 volunteer delegates with one delegate from each Kansas county and 5 additional from each of the more populated Wyandotte, Johnson, Shawnee, and Sedgwick counties. All are 60+ years of age and elected from their county of residence. The KSHL identifies issues important to older Kansas adults over the age of 60 and educates the Kansas Legislature about those issues. KSHL also works to help older Kansans understand the legislative process and how it affects their communities. For more information about the KSHL, their website is: Kansas Silver Haired Legislature www.kansas-shl.org.

For additional information, contact Ross Boelling, KSHL President, at rkboelling.shl@gmail.com or Randall Hardy, KSHL Speaker at ks67401@gmail.com.