Assembly Safety Committee OKs plan to protect seniors

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elder-abuse-law-sb18The Assembly Public Safety Committee today approved a plan by Sen. Jenny Oropeza to enhance penalties against those who repeatedly abuse the elderly.

Senate Bill 18, approved on a bipartisan vote, would increase fines on those who abuse dependent adults and senior citizens 65 and older. Specifically, it would:

  • Increase from $6,000 to $10,000 fines for those found guilty of placing an elder or dependent adult in situations where great bodily harm or death is likely.
  • Increase from $2,000 to $5,000 the fine for those found guilty of placing an elder or dependent adult in dangerous situations not likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. 

“Elder abuse is a hidden, pervasive and deadly crime where a shocking 84 percent of 5 million cases go unreported nationwide,” the Long Beach Democrat said after the hearing. “As California will have more than 9 million aged residents by 2020, SB 18 would shine light on a growing problem.”

Supporters of SB 18 include the California District Attorneys Association; the California State Sheriffs Association; the California Commission on Aging; the Alzheimer’s Association; and various community and state organizations.

SB 18 will next be heard on the Assembly floor. No date has yet been set.

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