Silver Haired Legislature Session Canceled
The 2020 Silver Haired Legislative Session has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 22nd Biennial Silver Haired Legislative Session taking place on August 26-27, 2020. Delegates will serve as legislators in this non-partisan session by writing, debating, and voting on bills addressing issues critical to older Arkansans.
The Silver Haired Legislative Session has been conducted biennially since its institution by a 1977 General Assembly resolution sponsored by Rep. B. G. Hendrix and the late Rep. W. F. “Bill” Foster. It is one of at least 28 such sessions held throughout the country to give senior citizens a chance to participate in the legislative process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to serve as an SHLS Delegate?
Any resident of Arkansas who is 60 years of age or older and is not an employee of the DHS Division of Aging, Adult and Behavioral Health Services or an Area Agency on Aging (AAA), may serve as an SHLS delegate. One candidate from each county will be elected to the Silver Haired Legislature and three repeat delegates will be appointed by each AAA. Other methods of soliciting delegates are allowed if there are not a sufficient number of candidates.
Can SHLS Delegates serve more than one term?
Yes, a candidate who has served in previous Silver Haired Legislatures may run again to be a SHLS delegate or may serve as an appointed delegate.
How does a candidate qualify to run for SHLS Delegate?
A potential SHLS candidate must complete a County Candidate Petition by collecting the signatures of 25 residents of his or her county who are 60 or older. Completed petitions must be submitted to the AAA no later than February 14, 2020.
How are Delegates elected?
The AAA will notify candidates about the date and location of the election meeting in the candidate’s home county. Candidates must be present at their county election. Voting is by secret ballot. To be eligible, voters must be 60 or over, residents of the county where they are voting, and vote in person. The candidate receiving the most votes will be the SHLS delegate for that county and the candidate with the second highest number of votes will serve as alternate.
What does a Silver Haired Delegate or Alternate do?
The SHLS delegates and alternates will attend a training session to learn about the legislative process and prepare for their work as delegates. All delegates will attend the Session in Little Rock at the State Capitol on August 26 – 27, 2020. Alternates may observe the SHLS, but do not participate in voting. A trained alternate may be called on to serve as a delegate if a delegate from the same region is unable to participate.
For more information please contact Ronda Gilbert-Hines of the Division of Aging, Adult, & Behavioral Health Services at 501-320-6573, or your local Area Agency on Aging.