OREGON COUNTY -- Dale Johnson of Alton served for the second consecutive year as speaker of the house for the Silver Haired Legislature, which met in Jefferson City Oct. 25-27 for their legislative session.
"Delegates debated and voted on 20 separate proposals during a three-day session that took place at the Truman Hotel and Conference Center, as well as the House and Senate chambers of the Capitol," Johnson said.
The speaker said Mark Burns, chairman of the House Senior Citizens Advocacy Committee, opened the session in the House chamber Oct. 25.
"At the conclusion of the session, delegates voted on their top five priority bills for presentation to the Missouri General Assembly scheduled to convene in mid-January," Johnson said.
He said the top five priorities are: single point of entry, payday loans, funding for all meals, raising asset levels for individuals on Medicaid, and increasing the monthly stipend for Medicaid residents in nursing homes.
"The most important issue we discussed, in my opinion, was single point of entry," he said. "For three years Gov. Blunt has led us to believe he was going to pass an executive order to put this issue into effect."
The speaker said what single point of entry entails is "one stop shopping" for senior citizens. "We want to make senior citizen centers across the state a place where seniors can go to receive nearly all the enforcement they might need regarding issues from benefits to health," he said.
He said raising the asset level for Medicaid recipients was his next priority.
"Currently a person can only receive $999 monthly in Missouri to be eligible for Medicaid. We would like to see that raised to $2,000," Johnson said.
Number three, funding for all meals, is also important to Johnson.
"Food cost and, of course, fuel cost have risen recently. We would like to see all meals served and delivered from the senior citizens centers free of charge," he said.