OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently announced that his bipartisan legislation designed to fight the financial exploitation and neglect of vulnerable adults in the state was advanced by the House of Representatives in a 92-4 vote. The bill next goes to the state Senate.
“These are our mothers and fathers, our grandparents, our
elders,” Ferguson said. “We have a responsibility to protect
them, and this legislation bolsters our ability to punish those who mistreat
vulnerable adults. I am pleased an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the
introduced the legislation after Adult Protective Services received more than
7,800 complaints of financial exploitation and more than 4,500 neglect
complaints in 2015. He is sponsoring the bill with Rep. Roger Goodman
(D-Kirkland). A companion bill in the state Senate is sponsored by Sen. Barbara
Bailey (R-Oak Harbor). The bill proposes changes to current laws related to
crimes against vulnerable adults, including changing the statute of limitations
for theft from three years to six years. According to Ferguson, crimes against
vulnerable adults can take years to uncover, so these crimes need a longer
“This bill is a top priority for me because it will help
ensure that vulnerable adults are receiving the basic necessities of life and
that anyone who abuses a vulnerable adult is held accountable,” Goodman said.
“We must make the statutes fit these horrible crimes,” Bailey said. “By removing roadblocks in the law, we can give prosecutors
the proper tools to go after those who take advantage of this vulnerable
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