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12th Annual Silver Haired Legislature meets Sept. 14-16

September 13, 2010

contact: Frank Adams

12th Annual Silver Haired Legislature meets Sept. 14-16

South Carolina’s Silver Haired Legislature convenes Sept. 14 in Columbia to prioritize its latest recommendations to the governor and legislature on issues impacting more than 660,000 people 60 and older.

Speaker Lamar Bailes of Walhalla said more than 100 Silver Haired legislators from across the state are expected to participate in the 12th annual SHL session, which ends Sept. 16.

Among the issues to be debated are establishing mandatory minimum penalties for those who abuse, neglect, or exploit vulnerable adults; broadening the geriatrician loan forgiveness program to provide incentives for other medical professionals to help South Carolina prepare for the predicted doubling of its senior population and the Baby Boomers’ medical needs; creating a Silver Alert system to alert the public about missing Alzheimer’s patients similar to the Amber Alert for missing children; and regulating pharmacy benefit managers.

Speaker Bailes said the full text of these resolutions may be found on the SHL’s new website, The site also provides contact information for the officers, members and the 10 caucuses across the state. South Carolina is one of 38 states that have created similar grassroots advisory bodies.

The SHL was created by the Legislature in 1999 to identify issues, concerns and possible solutions for problems faced by the citizens of South Carolina with special emphasis on issues related to seniors, and to make recommendations to the governor and to the General Assembly relative to these concerns.

SHL recommendations that have resulted in state law include criminal background checks for paid caregivers and the creation of a geriatric loan forgiveness program to encourage more geriatricians to settle in South Carolina to treat a senior population that is expected to double to more than 1.2 million by the end of this decade.

SHL representatives are registered voters at least 60 years of age who have been elected to represent their counties on a ratio of one per 5,000 persons aged 60 and over, according to the most current US Census data. Each county will have at least two representatives, but no county may have more than 10. Each representative will be elected for a term of two years.

SHL meets every September in legislative session to formulate the resolutions that will be presented to the General Assembly the following January. The first legislative session was held in the House Chamber of the South Carolina State House on Sept. 14-15, 1999.

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