BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. – Today at the Minnesota World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Conference in Brooklyn Center, Governor Tim Walz today held a bill signing ceremony for a package of senior and vulnerable adult care reforms approved during the recently-concluded legislative session.
“Our consensus reforms to address elder abuse will give older and vulnerable Minnesotans in assisted living facilities – along with their family members – needed peace of mind,” said Rep. Jen Schultz (DFL – Duluth), the chief author of the legislation in the House. “This result was only possible with Minnesotans impacted by these horrific behaviors coming forward to share their stories. Their advocacy was invaluable and I thank them, along with consumer advocates, agency staff, and of course Governor Walz and my legislative colleagues who supported the legislation, for allowing these safeguards to become law.”
The bill, HF 90, will create a licensure framework for assisted living facilities, the establishment of a bill of rights for residents of assisted living facilities, stronger consumer protection measures, uniform standards for facilities providing dementia cares services, and ensuring the ability for a resident to have a camera in their living space.
“This new law will provide greater safety, dignity, and peace of mind to Minnesota seniors and their loved ones,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman. “After Republicans failed to act on the work group recommendations last year, House DFLers stepped up — led by Rep. Schultz — worked with advocates, and crafted strong bipartisan legislation to protect our seniors from abuse and neglect.”
“Minnesotans expect that when they make the important decision to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home, they will be treated with dignity and respect while receiving the care they need,” said House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. “The protections in this new law are long overdue and are a substantial step toward ensuring the safety of our seniors.”
Many of the proposals in the legislation emerged last year from an Elder Abuse Consumer Workgroup convened by AARP Minnesota, and were crafted with the assistance of organizations such as Elder Voice Family Advocates and Legal Aid.