Measure Requiring Training for Guardians Heads to Governor
State Senate clears legislation strengthening adults-at-risk reporting
MADISON, WI… The most vulnerable members of our society would receive stronger protections under two proposals moving in the State Legislature this week, with one headed to Gov. Evers’ desk.
State Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere), co-author of the measures, said the bills would require training for guardians of incapacitated adults, and bring investigation requirements of adults-at-risk in line with elder abuse reports. The initiatives are supported by state advocacy groups including the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities and Disability Rights Wisconsin.
“As a society, we need to fortify the systems we rely on to care for our most vulnerable members,” Sen. Jacque said. “The proposals will enhance our guardian and adults-at-risk protections by requiring practices that will help ensure safe, fulfilling lives for the defenseless ones among us.”
Guardian Training Requirements (Assembly Bill 100/Senate Bill 92) – Bipartisan legislation requiring training for guardians of incapacitated adults is headed to Gov. Evers following passage in the State Assembly today in a voice vote. The State Senate passed the measure, co-authored with Rep. Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls), earlier this year.
“On the spectrum of delegation of decision-making by an adult, guardianship is the most restrictive and comprehensive in comparison to the alternatives, such as power of attorney, to protect individuals who are unable to care for themselves due to infancy, incapacity or disability,” Sen. Jacque said. “This bill would ensure that individuals petitioning for guardianship have basic training about the roles and responsibilities of guardians under state statute, and best practice strategies.”
Investigating Adults-at-Risk Abuse (Senate Bill 395) – Currently, Adult Protective Services (APS) may decide not to investigate reports of abuse of adults with disabilities (adults ages 18-59). However, investigations are required for any reports of abuse of elder adults (age 60 and over). This bill, co-authored with Rep. Donna Rozar (R-Marshfield), makes investigations of adults-at-risk reports also mandatory. It is supported by the Wisconsin Counties Association and many groups advocating for the disabled.
“Adults with disabilities are seven times more likely to be the victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation,” Sen. Jacque said. “This simple change will increase protections for adults with disabilities ages 18-59 with reported abuse.”
The measure cleared the Senate this week; it must now pass the Assembly and be signed by the Governor to become law.