General assembly prioritizes Safe Seniors Act

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Last week, Senator Page Walley released the following editorial on the Safe Seniors Act of 2021.
“important part of our role as lawmakers in the Tennessee General Assembly is to pass legislation to protect our most vulnerable citizens.
It is unfortunate that in today’s world we must pass legislation to protect vulnerable citizens, but this is a responsibility I take very seriously as your State Senator. This year we passed numerous laws to protect elderly and vulnerable adults that I was proud to support.
The Safe Seniors Act of 2021, which will go into effect on October 1, was passed this year to assist law enforcement and prosecutors in taking dangerous individuals who abuse elderly and vulnerable adults off the streets. It also assists judges in making sure that the sentences available to them upon conviction reflect the severity of the crime.
“This new law makes needed changes to protect some of Tennessee’s most vulnerable citizens.
Provisions in the new law include:
Making the process easier to take an elderly adult’s deposition;
Making certain that adult protective services can make disclosures to prosecutors;
Allowing aggravated elder abuse to be considered as an underlying offense for felony murder if the elderly adult dies; and
Expanding the definition of financial exploitation to include those situations where a caregiver takes the victim’s money for their own benefit without consent.”
Our General Assembly also passed legislation that requires a petition for the appointment of a conservator to include a search of the National Sex Offender Registry and the Department of Health’s registry of persons who have abused, neglected, or misappropriated the property of vulnerable persons.
This will help judges make more informed decisions and potentially prevent those with nefarious intentions from becoming conservators. This new law will be effective on January 1, 2022.
–State Senator Page Walley