Silver-haired Legislature addresses issues

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

In its fall session, the Alabama Silver-Haired Legislature addressed problems facing the state seniors that have a good chance of being brought before the State Legislature.

“Mindful of the economic situation in which our country has been plunged, we addressed issues that we feel need to be rectified,” said Homer Homann of Brundidge, Silver-Haired Legislator for Alabama’s 89th District.

Homann introduced the number one recommendation of the 19th session of the Silver-Haired Legislature.

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“We recommended an increase in the allowance nursing home residents receive to purchase personal care items,” Homann said. “We also recommended the 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.”

Two other recommendations made by the Silver-Haired Legislature delegates called for a freeze on ad valorem taxes paid by seniors and the 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,” Homann said. “This is an idea that Gov. Robert Bentley informed us had no chance of passage.

“We also urged that seniors not be charged admission to state parks and that sales taxes be paid on items purchased over the Internet. If that passed, it would have a positive impact on the State’s financial condition.”

Two items of concern for the state’s senior representatives were restoring the words “so help me God” to the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. and the optical shop employees be required to undergo professional training.

Homann said 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 seniors in combating the various forms of the insidious affront to seniors.

In the past, the ASHL was a major force in bringing about a reform to the State’s ethics law, “something that was long overdue.”

“We are proud to have been a force in the State Legislature’s passage of the Elder Abuse law, which is a vehicle for protecting the lives and wellbeing of our State’s older population,” Homann said. “That is what we have been promoting for the last half decade.”