Guardianship Legislation

According to a State Adult Guardianship Legislation report, about 13 states passed a total of 16 adult guardianship bills last year.

The report includes – Connecticut bolstering procedures for appointment and appeal. Washington, Arkansas and Nevada creating or strengthening a public guardianship program.

Other states in the report include Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Legislation at a glance:

California’s Omnibus Act was also mentioned in the report. “In 2006, in response to a series of reports on the state’s adult guardianship system (called “conservatorship” in California), the legislature passed an Omnibus Act, which was “a landmark package of bills to overhaul California’s troubled conservatorship system. That legislation [was] designed to remedy alarming deficiencies in California’s conservatorship system that had led to the abuses of California’s elderly and most vulnerable” (Bill Summary, Legislative Analysis, Leora Gershenzon). While the Act was moving through the legislature, the Chief Justice appointed a Probate Conservatorship Task Force to make recommendations for reform. The Task Force released recommendations, several of which were included in AB 1727, which also makes a number of technical and other clarifying amendments to last year’s Act.”

After the good news of California’s much needed reform, it was reported that Schwarzenegger vetoed the funding. “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Friday signed into law a $145 billion budget for FY 2007-2008, but not before using his line-item veto power to cut $700 million, including $17.377 million that would have implemented conservatorship reforms approved by lawmakers last year.”

Source: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Conservatorship Reform Funding

The Los Angeles Times reported: “When yacht owners are preferred over the aged and homeless, the bottom line is we’ve sunk too low.”

Source: Schwarzenegger’s bad budget cuts

In reality, it is not clear how any of the new legislation will help victims of guardianship and conservatorship abuse. NASGA believes that much more is needed.

Reports from the Commission on Law and Aging, American Bar Association:
State Adult Guardianship Legislation: Directions of Reform – 2007
State Adult Guardianship Legislation: Directions of Reform 2006

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