Marshall Rep. Matt Hall’s Senior Safeguards Approved By MI Senate
Marshall Republican State Representative Matt Hall is now looking at Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The subject of his attention is legislation he proposed to improve safety protections for Michigan’s senior citizens, especially those living in group residential settings.
Halls House bill 4325 earlier won approval from his fellow representatives in the statehouse. And now, without one dissenting vote, the bill is winning approval in the Michigan State Senate.
The legislation is the result of house committee hearings Hall presided over last year when he was chair of the House Oversight Committee. Some of the information presented followed a performance audit conducted by the state Aging and Adult Services Agency. Questions were raised about people who were allowed to work in senior group residential facilities and the personal information some had access to.
Hall’s bill puts local branches of the agency on the front line by requiring them to conduct thorough criminal background checks on potential employees. Volunteers and independent service providers must also be scrutinized. Those with troublesome convictions would be disqualified from working directly with the residents and prevented from accessing their personal records.
Some of the local agencies have already begun implementing the requirements of the legislation, even without its full approval.
Representative Hall says he’s pleased with the overwhelming support of fellow state legislators to his bill. He says he’ll be even happier if the Governor decides to sign the bill into law. “For people and their families who are depending on care from these individuals and depending on that care to be reliable and safe, it’s important to have uniformity in how background checks are conducted. “Without standardized checks, there is no way of knowing if a potentially dangerous individual is in a position to be placed into an environment with vulnerable people.”
There’s no word from the Governor’s office so far about her thoughts on the legislation.