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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 20, 2016 03:05 PM
From: Senator Bob Mensch
To: All Senate members
Subject: Older Adult Protective Services Act Re-Write
I am introducing legislation to overhaul the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA), which aims to detect and reduce elder abuse in the Commonwealth as well as provide protective services for Pennsylvanians over 60 years of age. In addition, this bill would move OAPSA from a free standing act to the Consolidated Statutes (Title 23).

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) administers OAPSA in coordination with the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). The department receives mandatory abuse reports and the AAAs conduct the investigations. PDA also ensures that criminal history background checks mandated by OAPSA are processed expeditiously and correctly for employment applicants at facilities dealing with older Pennsylvanians.

In addition to revising OAPSA with some consolidation of provisions, my bill will address the rise of the financial exploitation of older Pennsylvanians by providing for financial abuse if it is a loss that results in the inability of an older adult to fund basic necessities.

The legislation will add physicians, health care providers and financial institutions to the list of mandatory reporters within OAPSA which currently only requires facility employees and administrators report to the department suspected elder abuse.

Perhaps one of the most significant provisions of this bill will be to address the issues created by a state Supreme Court decision in 2003 that deemed the mandatory criminal background checks and prohibitive offenses provisions in OAPSA unconstitutional. Recent Pennsylvania State Police and FBI background checks will be required of all applicants and must be conducted prior to hiring an individual. Anyone convicted of the most egregious offense under the Crimes Codes will be prohibited from employment.

It was Senate Bill 1380 of last session and co-sponsors were Haywood, Brewster, Fontana, Yaw, Rafferty, Ward, Vulakovich, Alloway, Baker, Yudichak, Browne, and Boscola.

If you have any questions please call Mark Fetzko at 717-787-3110.

Introduced as SB899