Locals Named To Silver-haired Legislative Assembly Committee

The Silver-haired Legislative Assembly recently concluded its 17th session.

Posted on August 17, 2012

The Silver-haired Legislative Assembly recently concluded its 17th session. Held July 25-27 at the House Chambers in the State Capitol, Bismarck, the Assembly was an opportunity for the delegates from throughout the state to gather and discuss issues of concern to North Dakota’s seniors and to develop legislative bill and resolution language that will be forwarded to the 2013 state legislators.

Delegates to the Assembly were assigned to one of four committees, including Education, Medical and Geriatric Services, Senior Services, Human Services, and Long Term Care. Area resident Cora Hiller of Bowman served on the Human Services Committee.

Bills and resolutions passed at the 2012 Assembly included:

• Bill for an act to increase the Medicaid waiver for eligible skilled-care residents from $50 to $60 per month.

• Resolution supporting the North Dakota guardianship program for protection of vulnerable adults.

• Resolution urging North Dakota’s Congressional delegation to seek a waiver of the passport requirement to enter into and travel through the International Peace Garden for residents who are part of group outings sponsored by their basic or skilled nursing residential facilities.

• Resolution supporting a financial assistance or housing program for senior citizens in oil-impacted regions.

• Resolution to give senior age 65+ years of age a tax credit on a single family home.

• Resolution that State Legislature fully match the county mill levy of one mill for senior services.

• Resolution in support of a North Dakota State Legislature bill advocating expanding the scope of Adult Day Care services to include respite care reimbursement for full-time family caregivers whose family member does not meet Medicaid income guidelines.

Assembly delegates were elected earlier this year through their local and county senior organizations and senior citizen centers. Delegates must be 60+ years of age and have an interest in seniors’ issues and learning about the North Dakota legislative process.

The Silver-haired Legislative Assembly provides grassroots input on aging issues to the State’s legislators. The first session was held in 1982 and continues in each even-numbered year prior to the next State Legislature. The Silver-haired Education Association (SHEA), a non-partisan and non-lobbying organization, hosts the Assembly and focuses on legislative training for seniors.

With North Dakota having the highest per capita of seniors in the nation, it is important to provide a grassroots voice for seniors’ issues, including nutrition, health, housing, transportation, health care, prescription drugs, social security and other benefits and services.

Ray Siver of Grand Forks served as President for the 2012 Silver-haired Legislative Assembly, with Tony Wixo, McViller, as President Pro Tem.

New Steering Committee members include Larry K. Jackson, Reeder, delegate, and Cora Hiller, Bowman, alternate, Region VIII.