ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers gathered Wednesday to push legislation at both the state and federal levels aimed at protecting vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.
More than 25,000 Minnesota residents have a court-appointed guardian or conservator to take care of their finances, and the number is expected to rise in the future as more Minnesotans enter retirement age.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., joined Attorney General Lori Swanson and other state officials at the West 7th Community Center in St. Paul to propose ways to implement tougher background checks and electronic monitoring to ensure that court-appointed guardians aren’t taking advantage of seniors.
“The last thing that they should have to worry about or that their family should have to worry about is that someone is ripping them off, that’s stealing their last money, that’s abusing them in some way,” Klobuchar said. “It’s our obligation as a society to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”
Klobuchar has sponsored legislation in Congress aimed at helping states beef up background checks and improve monitoring of guardians’ financial decisions.
Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, planned to introduce a bill Thursday that would require tougher and more frequent background checks for all guardians. The checks would not only look at criminal history, but would also include whether the individual had been denied a professional license or filed for bankruptcy.
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Vulnerable adults protection: Lawmakers push for tougher background checks