Minnesota Bill Would Protect Seniors Against Financial Abuse; Governor on Board

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Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman this week unveiled a legislative proposal that attempts to protect the state’s seniors from becoming victims of financial abuse.

The proposal is called the Vulnerable and Older Adult Financial Abuse Protection Act.

The Act would give the Commerce Department more tools and authority to investigate and prevent instances of financial abuse.

Specifics on what the Act would do, from Hometown Argus:

The legislative proposal would require Commerce-regulated entities to report suspected financial abuse among older and vulnerable adults and create a Senior Trust Fund that will be used to for education, outreach, and training among financial industries and consumers in Minnesota. It would also increase penalties for those who perpetrate financial crimes against older and vulnerable adults. The proposal would also give Commerce-regulated entities additional tools to be able to protect their customers in situations where a financial crime is suspected.

Governor Mark Dayton is on board with the legislation, and has even figured the cost of the Act into his latest budget proposal.

According to WDAZ, Minnesota’s ABC affiliate, the Act would cost $250,000 in the first fiscal year. The cost would jump to $450,000 in the second year, then $650,000 in the third year and $800,000 in the fourth.

According to the Minnesota Elder Justice Center, there were 6,000 reports of elder financial exploitation in 2014. The number of reports has risen every year since at least 2012.


Photo by  Minnesota National Guard via Flickr CC License

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