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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2016 12:43 PM
From: Representative Ryan A. Bizzarro
To: All House members
Subject: Elder Abuse: Theft of Prescription Medication (Re-Introduction)

In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation – former House Bill 511 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session – that will add three additional theft offenses and corresponding mandatory minimum sentences for individuals who take, dispose, deceive, or extort prescription medication from elder adults.

Adults 65 and older represented 14.5% of the population in 2014, but are expected to grow to be 21.7% of the population by 2040. Moreover, Pennsylvania has one of the highest populations of older adults in the country. Therefore, the issue of theft of prescription medication has become a particular concern in our Commonwealth, as too many elder adults are susceptible to exploitation.

My legislation attempts to combat the issue of increasing theft of prescription medication from elder adults, age 60 or older, by enhancing sentencing laws specifically relating to elderly persons. Offenses relating to theft by unlawful taking or disposition will result in a minimum mandatory sentence of not less than one year. In addition, an offense relating to theft by deception or an offense relating to extortion will result in a minimum mandatory sentence of not less than six months.

As a public official, I believe it is important to help protect all elderly adults living in Pennsylvania from the threat of potential abuse.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB511