Local Duo Now Members Of Silver Haired Legislature

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Roger Hattrup and Bob Lucas of Payson were two of 34 people sworn in Monday after being elected to Arizona's first Silver Haired Legislature.

The newly elected senior advocates will represent 18 districts statewide when they meet this fall.

Only seven of the 34 are from rural areas, Hattrup said Friday. "That's not nearly enough."

He and the other candidates spoke at senior centers around the county and made several trips to Globe and to Phoenix.

Hattrup, Lucas, and Herbert Mason of Snowflake will represent Legislative District 4.

"We haven't seen the vote count yet," Hattrup said. "We were just told that we were elected. We had a meeting at the capitol between the Senate and the House in the courtyard -- in the sun.

"Fortunately, Bob and I had on our Western hats."

Hattrup said the legislators' primary function will be to draft proposed legislation.

"We're not lobbyists," he said. "The primary purpose is for people 60 and over, but we'll listen to anyone."

Hattrup said both he and Lucas will welcome calls and will discuss any issue to carry forth to the legislature. Hattrup can be reached at 474-4787 and Lucas at 472-6053.

Mail-in balloting elections were conducted through the month of April, and the newly elected legislators, who must have reached age 60 to be eligible for election, will serve two-year terms in the non-partisan body.

Arizona's Silver Haired Legislature is based on a model created in 1973 in Missouri, which is now active in 24 states.

In a news release from the Area Agency on Aging, Mary Lynn Kasunic, executive director of the agency said, "This is an exciting opportunity for Arizona and one that brings even more individuals from across the state into the legislative process."

"The real work starts this fall," Hattrup said. "September, October -- that's when we get into action."

For information on the Silver Haired Legislature, contact Mary Lynn Kasunic, executive director of the Area on Aging, Region One, at 602-264-2255 or 888-783-7500.

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