Elected representatives from Kansas counties come together annually to discuss issues important to seniors.
The Kansas Silver Haired Legislature is a unicameral legislature consisting of 125 representatives from across the state. They come together annually in Topeka to discuss and propose legislation that impacts Kansans of all ages. Measures that are passed by the KSHL are presented to the governor and the state legislature when they convene in January each year.
"Elections for the KSHL county delegates will take place on Mar. 14 in the 28 counties in southwest Kansas and we are seeking candidates to run for these county positions," said Dave Geist, executive director of the Southwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging. Each county will elect and be represented by one delegate.
Individuals who are interested in becoming a candidate must be over 60 years of age, a resident of the county in which they are running and a registered Kansas voter.
Delegates serve two-year terms with no term limits.
The deadline for filing is 4 p.m. Feb. 14. All petitions, filing fees and nomination papers must be in the SWKAAA office by that time. Items postmarked that day but received the next will not be accepted.
"At this time, we do not have delegates in the following counties: Edwards, Gray, Hamilton, Haskell, Lane, Ness, Stafford and Stanton," Geist said.
For more information about becoming a candidate, call Geist at 1-800-742-9531 or in Dodge City at (620) 225-8230.
Jane G. Ervin, Ford County's current representative to the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature, spoke with the Globe about the issues under discussion.
"Last session we passed a resolution to provide funding for older adults who need help with dental health services. And beginning this January, KanCare provides Medicaid patients with preventative care," Ervin said.
Of particular interest to Ervin are resolutions regarding the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's "Kansans Optimizing Health Program, which brings people with chronic conditions together to learn skills to manage their conditions.
She also supports a resolution urging the legislature to act to combat predatory payday lending practices.
"A bill was introduced on this topic at the state legislature already this session," Ervin said.
Ervin also worked to pass an act concerning mandatory reinstatement of certain insurance coverages, and an act requiring nursing program applicants to be fingerprinted and undergo background checks.
"These things are important to me and I work hard to get something done. I hope the citizens of Ford County will elect me for another term," Ervin said.
Ervin has also worked on an act relating to grandparent custody, visitation and residency, and the foster grandparent program at Fort Hays State University.
Ervin volunteers for a number of social service agencies, including taking her turn delivering Meals on Wheels.
"I try to visit all the senior centers in the county as often as I can," Ervin said.
"I'm committed to working hard to help where I can."
Follow Don Steele on Twitter @Don_dcglobe.