Seniors are happier and healthier in home- and community-based settings.

We should increase support for programs that allow seniors to age gracefully in place. I support the the Older Adults Waiver in the Medicaid budget, which allows seniors to receive long-term care in community settings. Other initiatives that require support include the Senior Nutrition support program, that assists home-bound seniors and provides “wraparound” services to seniors. I also strongly support Department of Aging funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), including Baltimore’s NORC. NORCs provide a range of services that allow seniors to continue to live in their homes and apartments.

2019 Legislation

HB 485 – Senior and Vulnerable Adult Asset Recovery Unit (Voted Unfavorable in ECM Committee)

Senior citizens are a vulnerable population to threats of exploitation and fraudulent activity committed against them. This bill would have established the Senior and Vulnerable Adult Asset Recovery Unit in the Office of the Attorney General for the purpose of protecting seniors and vulnerable adults from financial crimes.  This bill would have also authorized a dedicated unit to bring a civil action for damages, as specified, against a person who violates the State’s prohibition against exploitation of a vulnerable adult on behalf of the victim of the offense or, if the victim is deceased, the victim’s estate.   

Although this bill did not move forward in the Economic Matters Committee, this remains a serious problem for seniors and vulnerable adults that  I hope we can work to resolve.

2018 Legislation

Civil Action – Offense against Vulnerable or Elderly Adult (HB 956)

This piece of legislation would enable an elderly or vulnerable adult victimized by financial exploitation to receive treble damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs in a civil action against the perpetrator. In many cases of financial exploitation and fraud, the sums involved—while dire for the victim—are not enough for a lawyer to take on the case. The ability to collect treble damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs will enable more victims to seek justice in both criminal and civil courts. I would argue that intentionally depriving a senior citizen or vulnerable adult of his or her property is also egregious and justifies treble damages. This bill received an unfavorable report from the House Judiciary Committee. I hope to sponsor similar legislation next year.