Legislation that would give elderly and vulnerable adults, and their guardians or families, the right to electronic monitoring passed the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee. The bill, authored by Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point), comes as the first in a series of elder care reforms known as the No Senior Ignored agenda. It unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee Feb. 18, and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

“We must be doing all we can to protect elderly and vulnerable Minnesotans, and this is a big step forward,” said Housley, chairwoman of the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee. “Putting into law that electronic monitoring is allowed, and explicitly prohibiting retaliatory action against facility residents, is long overdue.”

The bill, Senate File 11, would give residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities, or a resident’s designated representative, the explicit right to use electronic monitoring devices in the resident’s room — provided all residents in a room give consent. The legislation, which would go into effect by Jan. 1, 2020, also includes provisions prohibiting retaliation against a resident using electronic monitoring and interference with legally placed electronic monitoring devices. The proposal now awaits a hearing by the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee.

“This is a bipartisan compromise that comes out of months of hard work and discussions between all stakeholders,” Housley said. “This is about protecting elderly and vulnerable Minnesotans — our parents, neighbors and friends that deserve the peace of mind knowing they or their loved ones are safe and protected. I’m looking forward to bringing this bill to the finish line.”

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