Electronic monitoring legislation comes back to the legislature

Bipartisan legislation on electronic monitoring, otherwise known as granny cams, was heard this week in the Family Care and Aging Committee. Lawmakers and advocates have been working for several years so monitoring can be used as an effective tool to ensure seniors are safe and receiving quality care in long-term care facilities.

 

Electronic monitoring is already allowed under current Minnesota law, but some facilities have been prohibiting residents and families from installing cameras. Although there is broad agreement that the ability to monitor the health and safety of loved ones is a right, legislation is necessary to clarify the law and provide protections for families that fear a facility may retaliate against them for asserting this right.

A controversial electronic monitoring proposal was included last session in a broader package of legislation to prevent elder abuse that was opposed by consumer advocates. That legislation was wrapped up into the 990-page supplemental budget bill and became a significant reason why Governor Dayton chose to veto the bill. Electronic monitoring is just one of several proposals aimed at protecting seniors that is expected to be taken up this session after the 2018 session ended without any meaningful reforms in long-term care.

The legislation this year came from an informal working group convened last fall that spent many hours deliberating the details of the proposal. Although a few sticking points need to be worked out, the legislation is expected to continue moving forward. The proposal passed the committee and will be heard next in the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee. (SF 11)

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