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Group identifies top issues for seniors

By By MICHELE GERLACH Publisher
Seventy senior citizens elected to serve in the Alabama Silver-Haired Legislature concluded their 2004 General Session in October by selecting the state's top five issues concerning Alabama's seniors.
Out of a total of 37 resolutions proposed by the body, members voted the following issues as the most important:
In addition to the Top 5 senior issues, members identified three general areas that also warrant the support of the ASHL. They are:
Speaker Bill Adams of Ardmore said, "Every issue addressed by the ASHL is important to the state, as well as our senior constituents. We work to narrow our focus to the Top 5 for emphasis, but continue to support each one that passed during the general session."
Member submitted and debated resolutions addressing issues such as health care, fraud and abuse, transportation, taxation, senior benefits, long term care and funding.
Highlights of the three-day session included a welcome by Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley, Attorney General Troy King, Secretary of State Nancy Worley, Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks, State Finance Director Jim Main, DHR Commissioner Page Walley and a keynote address at their annual banquet by AEA Executive Secretary Paul Hubbert. All honored guests emphasized the importance of the ASHL's efforts, as well as encouraged members to continue their endeavor to improve the lives of senior citizens in Alabama.
The ASHL is a non-partisan model legislature comprised of citizens aged 60 and older elected every two years by their peers to represent the interests of older Alabamians. The first group of 105 Alabama Silver-Haired Representatives was elected into office in March 1993 modeling itself after the Alabama House of Representatives, with one member representing each house district.