Texas Silver-Haired Legislature Advocacy
TSHL is officially authorized and recognized by the Texas Legislature as an essential resource on issues affecting older Texans.
We represent older Texans – addressing protections from fraud and other abuse of seniors; assurance of competent, vigilant and respectful health and nursing care; actions to mitigate isolation and nutritional deficiencies often associated with aging; and protection and preservation of other issues unique to our older population.
The Advocacy Process
Advocacy is the act of supporting a population segment or a specific cause and, ultimately, developing a proposal(s) to solve a problem.
- Officially authorized and recognized by the Texas Legislature;
- Served by elected TSHL members (age 60 and over) who are unpaid volunteers and self-fund much of their expenses for travel to TSHL meetings, and
- A viable and credible advocacy organization that has impacted over 250 pieces of legislation since its inception in 1985.
- A forum for older Texans to “discuss senior citizen issues, debate those issues, and establish legislative priorities for the Texas Legislature to consider.”
The TSHL does not specialize in just one senior issue. We take a 360° approach to improve state government effectiveness in laws that deal with older Texans and aging With the rapid rate of senior population growth, the TSHL is “Now, More Important than Ever.”
Our advocacy process is comprehensive. Our members, through their own experience, expertise, or interest along with constituent input, identify issues of older Texans that are both appropriate and necessary for state involvement. Members research these issues by researching them, consulting with experts, and by other collaborative efforts. Members then write a “Resolution” – a document identifying and describing the issue with a recommendation for appropriate legislation. Resolutions go through a process that includes a review by a Proposed Resolution Review Panel, debate and a vote in a Legislative Review Committee, continued debate and a vote by the Legislative Action Committee, and untimately presentation to the whole TSHL body for debate and approval. All approved Resolutions by the full body are then published in our Legislative Report that goes to the Governor and each member of both the Texas Senate and House prior to each State Legislative Session.
TSHL resolution authors then lead teams to contact our legislators prior to and during the State Legislative Session. We often provide either in-person or written testimony to keep our resolutions visible as bills are drafted and ultimately voted on by the Texas Legislature.
2021-2023 State Affairs Committee Chair
Recent Legislative Successes
- Establish Silver Alert for missing seniors.
- ERS Pension funding for financial soundness
- TRS Pension funding for financial soundness
- TRS-CARE additional State funding
- Medical Cannabis increase in authorized medical conditions for treatment
- Tele-Medicine and Tele-Dentistry authorizations
- Rural Broadband Expansion
- Criminal Penalties for Senior Financial Abuse, including actions of “Undue Influence”
- Streamlining physician licensure requirements for APRNs
- Reporting of Communicable Diseases in certain LTC facilities
- Continued Line Item funding for Senior Corps