Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Hearing on Elder Abuse Bills Scheduled for February 21
Governor Rick Snyder supports the elder abuse legislation passed by the Senate, and urged the House of Representatives to adopt the bills in his State of the State address this January. Representative Ken Kurtz (R-Coldwater) is holding a hearing on the 14 elder abuse bills assigned to his Families, Children and Seniors Committee. The hearing is February 21, 2012, from 10:30 am to 12 noon in the House Office Building, 124 North Capitol Avenue, in Room 327. We need advocates to pack the room, testify, and show their support for improvements in state laws to prevent elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation, and obtain justice for the victims when it occurs.
Because committee hearings are sometimes rescheduled, advocates driving to Lansing should confirm that the hearing will take place before making the trip. To confirm, call Representative Kurtz’s office at 866-362-8812.
What You Can Do:
You don’t have to testify to attend the hearing and lend quiet support! If you are in the audience, you can submit a card indicating your support, which will be read by Rep. Kurtz.
People willing to testify are encouraged to do so, of course, and can use the talking points below, or relate a personal story about elder abuse they or a relative/friend have experienced.
Advocates who can’t attend are encouraged to call or email Rep. Kurtz (866-362-8812 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to indicate support:
- About 80,000 Michigan elders fall victim to some form of abuse each year.
- Last year, Adult Protective Services received 19,000 calls reporting abuse, up from 12,000 calls in 2000.
- 70% of abusers are ‘trusted ones,’ including spouses, children, grandchildren and friends. Victims come from all walks of life and income classes, as witnessed by Mickey Rooney’s testimony before the Congress.
- Michigan’s high rate of unemployment is fueling the financial exploitation of the elderly.
Six years ago, a Governor-appointed Task Force of experts released a set of recommendations on addressing the growing, and mostly hidden, problem of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Bills addressing the problem have been introduced in every session of the Legislature since but died due to inaction by one or both houses. Last year, a renewed effort to pass the bills started in the Michigan Senate, which passed a package of 18 bills last November.
Taken from: Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan Advocacy Alert