News from the Governor’s Office:
Based on the recommendations of an independent work group convened by AARP Minnesota and a recent report from the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA), Governor Mark Dayton was joined by legislators and advocates today to announce a broad set of reforms and investments to hold providers guilty of abuse accountable and protect the health, safety, and dignity of seniors and vulnerable adults. The proposal, co-authored by Republicans and Democrats in the House (HF3468) and Senate (SF3088), would invest $14.9 million to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans in privately-owned residential care facilities. In recent years, allegations of abuse at privately-owned residential care facilities for older and vulnerable adults have increased more than 50 percent, reaching 24,100 total complaints last year alone.“Our senior citizens deserve safe, dignified, high-quality care at every facility in Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “Over the last several months, I have listened closely to the perspectives of seniors and their families, along with advocates and providers, whose stories must be at the center of our work. While the responsibility for these abuses rests first and foremost with the private facilities who have violated the trust of families and their loved ones, my Administration is taking concrete steps to investigate every allegation of abuse in a timely and thorough manner. I will work with the Legislature this session to better ensure our parents and grandparents, their families, and all vulnerable adults are safe and well-cared for in Minnesota.”The bipartisan proposal would hold providers guilty of abuse accountable and protect the health, safety, and well-being of older and vulnerable adults through more robust licensing requirements for residential care facilities, enhanced inspections and investigative processes, better communication with seniors and their families, and strengthened rights for seniors and their families. The proposal would also strengthen criminal and civil penalties for perpetrators of abuse and the companies that employ them.