Senators introduce new elder abuse bill

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Several senators Wednesday introduced the Elder Abuse Victims Act to improve enforcement of elder abuse.

The bill is a companion to the Elder Abuse Victims Act (H.R. 448), which the House passed earlier this year. It would create federal grants for states and localities to establish elder justice positions or units, and to provide support for prosecutorial training on elder-abuse laws. The legislation also would provide funding for elder abuse victims advocacy groups. Under the bill, the Department of Justice would be required to establish more uniform procedures to improve the handling of elder justice matters.

Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and George LeMieux (R-FL) introduced the bill. It complements the Elder Justice Act (S. 795) and the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act (S. 631), two other policies that address elder abuse.  Provisions from the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act are part of the Senate Finance Committee's healthcare reform bill.