SHL sets priorities for legislature

Former Jefferson City representative Bill Deeken is a member of this year’s Silver Haired Legislature. The group convened their annual legislative session at the Capitol on Wednesday and set priorities Friday to send to the General Assembly.

Former Jefferson City representative Bill Deeken is a member of this year’s Silver Haired Legislature. The group convened their annual legislative session at the Capitol on Wednesday and set priorities Friday to send to the General Assembly. Photo by Julie Smith.

Bill Deeken spent years as Cole County’s clerk — the county’s chief elections official — then won four two-year terms as western Cole County’s state representative.

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This week, he returned to the House Chambers as a representative in the Silver Haired Legislature.

The group’s main goal is considering around 20 bills, then choosing the top five to send to the General Assembly for its action.

This year’s five measures include one new priority: increasing state funding for meals programs for seniors who get Medicaid assistance.

It was second behind a plan to restore funding to the 10 Area Agencies on Aging, of their meals programs, including meals served at senior centers and the “Meals On Wheels” efforts that deliver lunch to seniors who are homebound.

That also topped last year’s SHL Priority List.

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