Legislators continue work to address elder abuse in Minnesota

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Addressing the abuse and neglect of Minnesota’s seniors is once again on the agenda after the 2018 session ended without any urgently needed reforms in long-term care. Members of the new Family Care and Aging Committee heard an update from the commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health on the outcome of several informal working groups on elder abuse convened last year to continue the critical work of finding solutions. A final report from the groups is expected shortly.

Last year, bipartisan legislation backed by a coalition of consumer advocates was ignored by Republican leaders in favor of a deeply flawed proposal that was ultimately wrapped into the 990-page omnibus supplemental budget bill. Governor Dayton cited the legislation’s inclusion as a primary reason for vetoing the bill.

Several pieces of new legislation this year are expected to come from stakeholders involved in the working groups, including a path to licensure for the state’s assisted living facilities, new requirements and protections for electronic monitoring (also known as granny cams), and legislation that will clarify and strengthen the rights of individuals living in assisted living settings. Senate DFLers will once again be working hard this year to ensure that protecting seniors and strengthening their rights are always at the forefront of the conversation.