Senate Bill 689, passed by the
General Assembly earlier this year, strengthens
Gov. Nixon chose
The new law, which goes into effect August 28, expands the definition of financial exploitation against seniors and persons with disabilities to include "undue influence."
Gov. Nixon says this change will give local prosecuting attorneys greater ability to go after those in a position of power who financially exploit senior citizens or persons with disabilities, including those with legal guardianship or power of attorney.
"In the past, it has been
difficult for prosecutors to file charges on these types of cases if the person
committing the crime had legal status as a guardian or power of attorney,"
said Gov. Nixon in
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reports that about one out of every five calls to the Elder Abuse Hotline is to report an allegation of financial exploitation.
The new law also makes it clear that the physical abuse of an elderly person or persons with disabilities is illegal, regardless of whether the injuries sustained were inflicted on purpose or were the result of reckless behavior.
Read Senate Bill 689
(information courtesy Missouri Governor Jay Nixon)