The Legislature in March is expected to pass legislation that would tighten the rules for people applying for caregiving jobs in the state.

It would set up an online fingerprinting system, prevent caregivers from working until their background checks are completed, and make it harder for ex-convicts to work with children, older adults and disabled people.

The examination of screening protocols comes after the Sun Sentinel reported that lax clearance measures allowed criminals to easily obtain caregiving jobs. Since the newspaper series, Gov. Charlie Crist (R) appointed a task force composed of eight state agencies that screen and license caregiver. As a result, Standards reportedly have tightened at the Department of Children & Families.