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Walz signs elder care protections into law

June 05, 2019 05:28 PM

Governor Tim Walz signed a senior and vulnerable adult care reforms package, which includes a measure allowing residents to install cameras in their living spaces, into law at a ceremony in Brooklyn Center on Wednesday.

Walz signed the bill at the Minnesota World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Conference.

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"I want to say thank you for making our state just a little bit better today with making this piece of legislation ... law of the land," the governor said to applause as he signed the bill.

The bill, which was approved during the recently-concluded legislative session, gives all assisted living residents the right to have a camera in their living space. It also creates a licensure framework for assisted living facilities and a bill of rights for their residents, and creates stronger consumer protection measures and uniform standards for facilities that provide dementia care services.

"Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of our caregivers are really, really good people and our facilities are great, but we needed to have a framework in place that if there was a bad facility or a bad person they needed to be held accountable," state Senator Karin Housley, R-St. Mary's Point, told 5 Eyewitness News after the bill signing.


The changes coming to senior care are especially timely given the "senior tsunami" that's predicted for Minnesota.


Governor Walz also tweeted, "No Minnesotan should have to worry about their safety when putting their trust in an assisted living facility. I’m proud we were able to come together and get this done for Minnesota."

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