Woman gives Callaway seniors a voice in Jeff City

— Judy Baumgartner enjoys giving her fellow seniors a voice.

As Callaway County’s representative to the Silver Haired Legislature, Baumgartner — a Holts Summit resident — is in a position to do just that.

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Judy Baumgartner

Each fall, the Silver Haired Legislature — according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website, “an elected body of citizens 60 years of age and older that promote conscientious legislative advocacy for Missouri’s older adults” — meets for two days to discuss and vote on a docket of bills and resolutions that concern legislation that affects the lives of the elderly. The five bills receiving the most votes are selected as the group’s main focus for the year.

Having met with other central Missouri silver legislators over the summer, Baumgartner said she will be advocating for four specific items when the full Silver Haired Legislature meets Oct. 9-11: Increased funding for home-delivered meals, residential property tax relief for seniors, getting MO HealthNet to cover hearing aids for adults and limiting interest rates on payday loans.

She said the issue of funding for home-delivered meals is particularly important here in Callaway.

“The senior center in Fulton is really hurting. Our funds keep getting cut. We’re really struggling to provide the home-delivered meals,” Baumgartner said. “The home-delivered meals are less expensive than a nursing home. Often times those meals are the only thing keeping them in their own home.”

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