Silver-Haired Legislature concludes 19th session
The Alabama Silver-Haired Legislature concluded its 19th session on Oct. 24, reports ASHL representative Judy Bell, who is from Jacksonville and represents Alabama’s 32nd District.

Mindful of the economic situation in which the country has been plunged, said Bell, delegates addressed problems that face the state’s seniors, issues that stand a chance of often not being addressed by those who can take the steps needed to rectify often unintentional oversights.

This year the body recommended an increase in the allowance nursing home residents receive to purchase personal care items; and to an expansion of the Person Choice program that provides alternative means that will allow seniors the opportunity to continue to live in their own homes rather than be committed to a nursing home.

Another recommendation called for a freeze on ad valorem taxes paid by seniors, and a fifth urged restoration of the homestead exemption program that was once afforded seniors.

At a more general level, the ASHL delegates recommended that the State consider a lottery program, an idea which Gov. Robert Bentley told members earlier in the session had no chance of passage, Bell said.

Delegates also urged that seniors not be charged admission to state parks, and that sales taxes be paid on items purchased over the Internet, an item that, if passed, will have a positive impact on the State’s financial condition.

The final two items concerned restoring the words “so help me God” to the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., and that optical shop employees be required to undergo professional training.

Bell added that in the days and months ahead the Silver-Haired legislators plan to be extremely active in supporting the State’s Elder Abuse law, and the efforts of the Alabama Council for Prevention of Elder Abuse, to educate and assist our seniors in combating the various forms of this insidious affront to Alabama’s treasured seniors.

In the past the ASHL was a major force in bringing about a reform to the state’s ethics laws, something that was long overdue.

Bell said members are proud to have been a force in the State Legislature’s passage of the Elder Abuse law, a vehicle for protecting the lives and well being of the state’s older population, which they had been promoting for the last half decade.
© 2012