Iowa proposal gets tough on elder abuse
People who abuse the elderly would face possible prison time under a bill that unanimously passed the Iowa House last week.
Why it matters: This type of offense is often hidden or unreported, and costs billions of dollars annually to a growing segment of the population, according to research from the National Council on Aging.
Catch up fast: Iowa already has among the best elder abuse protections in the nation, according to an analysis published last year by personal finance site Wallethub.
- In the last decade, Iowa passed laws that define elder abuse and give courts more authority to enforce power of attorney contracts.
Yes, but: The state's legislation doesn't include criminal provisions with consequences like mandatory sentencing requirements. And specific cases involving things like financial exploitation are sometimes outside the reach of the criminal system.
- It's the biggest remaining legal gap in the state's elder protection system, AARP Iowa said in a February news release.
Zoom in: Assault and theft against a person 60 or older would come with enhanced penalties under the bill.
- Financial exploitation would become a serious misdemeanor or felony.
What’s ahead: The bill is back before the Senate where it must pass again before it can make its way to the governor.
More Des Moines stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.