Senator Housley’s Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act clears first committee

On Wednesday, comprehensive elder care reform passed the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee. The Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2019, authored by Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Marys Point), includes a series of provisions designed to protect elderly and vulnerable adults in Minnesota.

“This is about our commitment to elderly and vulnerable Minnesotans – and sending a message that no senior will be ignored in our state,” said Senator Housley. “This is bipartisan legislation that comes out of many months of meetings with facility residents and families, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders. There is widespread agreement that this needs to get done – and it cannot wait.”

Senate File 8 includes a series of significant changes to Minnesota law and additional protections for elderly and vulnerable residents. Most notably, the legislation contains an extensive framework for a tiered licensure structure for assisted living facilities in Minnesota, which includes survey requirements, enforcement mechanisms, and staffing and plant requirements. The legislation enhances oversight of the Office of Health Facility Complaints and contains needed funding for the Office of the Ombudsman of Long-Term Care. In addition, the bill contains protections for facility residents against retaliation, deceptive marketing, and termination of services. Finally, the bill also includes the electronic monitoring provisions that have already moved through the committee process, affording facility residents the explicit legal right to use recording devices in their rooms.

The bill passed with bipartisan support and awaits a hearing by the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee.

“Minnesota has a rapidly aging population – and this is a massive step forward. This legislation will finally move our state in the right direction when it comes to caring for our elderly and vulnerable residents. These are our moms and our dads, our brothers and our sisters, our neighbors and our friends – and they’ve been ignored for far too long,” Senator Housley continued.

Senator Karin Housley, of St. Marys Point, represents the Forest Lake area and the St. Croix River Valley in the Minnesota Senate. She serves as chairwoman of the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee and is an assistant majority leader.

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