The bipartisan Court-Appointed Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act would help crack down on elder abuse by strengthening oversight and accountability for guardians and conservators
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) announced that their legislation to protect seniors from neglect and financial exploitation has moved forward and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, paving the way for a vote in the full Senate. The bipartisan Court-Appointed Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act would help crack down on elder abuse by strengthening oversight and accountability for guardians and conservators.
“Seniors are too often the victims of abuse and financial exploitation by their guardians and conservators. Our bipartisan bill strengthens oversight and accountability for those who are entrusted with acting in the best interests of seniors,” Klobuchar said. “Today’s vote means that we’re one step closer to providing stronger protections for our vulnerable seniors.”
“Senior Citizens deserve respect, and we have a responsibility to protect them from criminals who attempt to exploit and defraud them,” Sen. Cornyn said. “This bipartisan legislation is an important step towards ensuring those who try to take advantage of senior citizens are held accountable.”
Klobuchar and Cornyn’s bill passed as part of broader legislation to expand education, prevention, and prosecution tools to reduce crimes against seniors and to bring perpetrators to justice. The Court-Appointed Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act makes courts eligible for an already existing program designed to protect seniors. Under the program, state courts would be able to apply for funding to assess the handling of proceedings relating to guardians and conservators, and then make the necessary improvements to their practices. For example, the courts could conduct background checks on potential guardians and conservators, or implement an electronic filing system in order to better monitor and audit conservatorships and guardianships.
Throughout her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has been fighting to ensure that all Americans have safety, dignity, and good health in their senior years. In June, Klobuchar’s bipartisan Senior Fraud Prevention Act passed the Senate Commerce Committee. The bill would help fight scams designed to strip seniors of their assets by educating seniors about fraud schemes and improving monitoring of and response to fraud complaints. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is the original cosponsor of the bill, which is also cosponsored by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Brian Schatz (D-HI). In March of 2015, Klobuchar reintroduced the Americans Giving Care to Elders (AGE) Act to help reduce the financial burden on families by establishing a federal tax credit to assist with the costs of caring for an aging family member. She has also been a leader in curbing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, improving and strengthening Medicare, and protecting American consumers by leading major bipartisan legislation, such as the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act, and Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act.