Retherford And Dovilla Introduce Ohio Elder Justice Act
Legislation Will Protect the Finances and Well-Being of Seniors
February 21, 2013
 
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COLUMBUS - 

State Representatives Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) and Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) today held a press conference with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to discuss the Ohio Elder Justice Act, recently introduced legislation that aims to protect older Ohioans from abuse and financial exploitation.


Specifically, House Bill 49 will expand the definition of “elder abuse” to include financial harm; create a registry to identify and track patterns of elder abuse; provide ongoing, comprehensive training for caseworkers and develop educational materials for mandatory reporters; and make permanent the Elder Abuse Commission to improve public policy, funding and programming, as well as the judicial response to elder abuse victims.


“I am pleased to continue my partnership with Attorney General DeWine to reform Ohio's adult protective services law,” said Rep. Dovilla. “By making long-overdue changes to this statute, we will take critically important steps to defend some of our state's most vulnerable citizens.”
This legislation, an earlier version of which Rep. Dovilla introduced as House Bill 572 in the 129th General Assembly last year, is an effort to update Ohio’s outdated definitions pertaining to elder abuse, which according to current law largely defines “elder abuse” as physical abuse. However, with financial exploitation of seniors on the rise, Reps. Dovilla and Retherford have authored H.B. 49 to help ensure the life savings and homes of Ohio’s seniors are protected.


“With the increase of fraud and abuse in today's society, we need to ensure that we protect those who are most vulnerable,” said Rep. Retherford. “The elderly are no exception. I look forward to working with Rep. Dovilla and the Attorney General in updating our elder abuse protection laws to meet the needs of today.”


House Bill 49 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for hearings.

 
 
 
  
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