Harrisburg—As Chairman of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee, Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) held a voting meeting to approve bills that better protect Pennsylvania’s aging population, increase lottery profits for senior programs, and save taxpayers through fraud prevention.
SB 819, introduced by Senator Mensch, provides for a comprehensive overhaul of the Older Adult Protective Services Act. This legislation streamlines communication between organizations and agencies that care for seniors. It also provides mandatory reporters, health care professionals and police, with procedures for reporting suspected elder abuse.
The Senate bill also empowers financial institutions with tools to intervene if they suspect a senior is being financial exploited through illegal taking, misuse or concealment of money, property or assets.
Lastly, SB 819 corrects a constitutionality issue created by a state Supreme Court decision in 2015 that prohibited lifetime employment bans for certain offenses without further evaluation. The bill addresses this issue and provides for employment practices that are safe for care organizations and, most importantly, Pennsylvania’s older adults.
“I commend Senator Mensch for authoring this much-needed update to strengthen our protective service system for older adults,” DiSanto said. “Our seniors deserve to live their lives free from abuse and neglect and this legislation puts additional safeguards in place to promote their health, safety, and financial security.”
HB 956, by Representative Murt, gives the PA Lottery flexibility to provide the best product mix to maximize profit and increase revenues to fund senior programs. The Department of Revenue projects lottery sales will increase over time by an additional $870 million and deliver an extra $169 million in profits for senior programs with this new flexibility.
“With Pennsylvania’s growing aging population, it is critical the lottery maximize its profits to meet the increased demand placed on important senior programs,” said DiSanto.
HB 775, by Representative Diamond, requires the Department of Aging to cross-reference its list of beneficiaries with death records maintained by the Department of Health on a monthly basis. It would ensure more efficient removal of deceased people from the PACE and PACENET database.
“This is a commonsense measure to save taxpayer dollars and prevent potential welfare fraud,” said DiSanto. “Government agencies should ensure public assistance is not mistakenly paid out and preserve those dollars for those who truly need them.”
All three bills received the committee’s unanimous support and advance to the full Senate for consideration.
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