Byler sworn in for eighth term on Texas Silver-Haired Legislature

Special to the Bulletin
Silver Haired Legislature

Nancy Byler of Brownwood was sworn in  to serve her eighth term as a member of the 19th Texas Silver-Haired Legislature (TSHL) at its Orientation Session held July 18-22 in Pflugerville. Sixty-nine delegates from 24 Area Agency on Aging regions in Texas were sworn in for a two-year term by the Honorable Bryan Hughes, member of the Texas Senate from District 1. 

Byler has represented the West Central Texas District for the past 15 years and  was presented a plaque for completing seven full terms. She was appointed to serve on the TSHL Communication Committee and elected Chair of the newly formed Pensions Investments Insurance Financial Services Committee. Others representing the AAA Region include Barbara King of Sweetwater.

The Orientation Session was the first of three TSHL sessions over the next biennium. The delegates will research senior issues in Texas, prepare resolutions for proposed legislation, pass them through committee and vote on them in full chamber at  the TSHL Legislative Session in the Spring of 2022.  Approved resolutions will be included in a TSHL Legislative Report that will be delivered to all Legislators, as well as to the Governor and Lt. Governor, in advance of the 2023 State session.

Rhonda M. Rogers was re-elected Speaker for the 2021-2023 legislative term. Rogers represents the Ark-Tex District Area on Aging (AAA) and lives in Paris, Texas. Re-elected to serve on the TSHL Executive Committee with Rogers, are Speaker Pro Tem Dr. Sharron (Sherry) Hubbard, representative of the Concho Valley District; Deputy Speaker Pro Tem Barbara Adylett from the Heart of Texas District; Comptroller Wayne Merrill of the Concho Valley District; and Secretary Bobette Doerrie representing the Panhandle District.

Longtime member Pat Porter, representing the Permian Basin, was named Speaker Emeritus during the closing session. Rogers praised Porter for her dedication, commitment, and hard work for the senior population of Texas. “The Honorable Pat Porter has served in virtually every office in the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature. Her leadership has resulted in countless bills that have been passed into law and I know that she will continue to serve our senior citizens and this great State as Speaker Emeritus,” she said.

The Texas Silver-Haired Legislature is a non-partisan body created by the 69th Texas Legislature with the adoption of SCR 37, on April 3, 1985.  Since its inception, some 700 seniors have been elected to serve in TSHL. The vision of TSHL is that “the applied wisdom, energy, and experience of aging will improve the lives of all Texans through education, knowledge, and involvement in legislation and governmental affairs.”

Among the issues the advocacy group recommended and supported during the 87th session of the Texas Legislature was legislation that increased the financial strength of the Teacher Retirement System  and the State Employees Retirement System pension plans, increased the personal needs allowance to $60 for Medicaid nursing home residents, provided for the expansion of broadband services in rural areas, expanded the research into and medical use of low-THC cannabis products, and enhanced criminal degree and fines for those who perpetrate Internet fraud against seniors.

The West Central Texas District includes Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Fisher, Haskell, Jones,  Kent, Knox, Mitchell, Nolan, Runnels, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor and Throckmorton. For more information on how you can become involved, call Nancy at 325.642.9060 or check out the website, www.txshl.org.