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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pall attends legislative session

Thursday, September 14, 2006

DELEGATE: Patt Pall of Mammoth Spring served as Fulton County delegate to the Silver Haired Legislature this summer.
MAMMOTH SPRING -- A Mammoth Spring woman, Patti Pall, served last month as the Fulton County representative to the Arkansas Silver Haired Legislature.

Pall said 20 bills and four resolutions were presented to county delegates of the 2006 Silver Haired League legislative session held in Little Rock Aug. 23-24.

Delegates must be over 60 years in order to represent senior citizens in their counties.

Pall said she became interested in the group at the suggestion of Karlene Groover, former Mammoth Spring Senior Citizen Center activity coordinator.

The Silver Haired Legislature meets prior to each Arkansas session. The Arkansas Constitution states that the legislature shall meet in session every other year.

"Arkansas is one of the few states that must operate within a balanced budget. Consequently, bills proposed for consideration have to take into account that a worthwhile program benefiting senior citizens must be able to generate its own income or have money available through grants as well as taxes," Pall said.

Of the 20 bills presented this year to the delegates, 15 were passed, Pall said. She said these bills and resolutions will be debated during the 2007 legislative session. Those passed by the legislators will become Arkansas law.

"The longest arguments for and against a bill on the floor were about eliminating sales tax on food for all Arkansas residents 62 or older," Pall said. She said this bill was brought up before the delegates twice and was narrowly defeated both times.

"The main argument against the bill was that if the sales tax was eliminated for seniors, taxes would have to be increased in other areas to make up for the loss of state revenue," Pall said.

Pall said another bill that received a lot of attention was Bill 5 that deals with certified nursing assistants in the state. "The bill is to increase staffing requirements, wages and the education for CNAs working in state nursing homes," she said.

She said another important bill that was debated was Bill 13. This bill was to create more guidelines for check cashing and loan stores. She said many legislators think the check cashing industry is charging too much interest to Arkansas residents using their service.

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