Gov. Peter Shumlin vetoed a bill Wednesday calling for greater information sharing by a state agency that is being sued for allegedly falling down on its job of protecting the state's elderly and disabled from abuse and exploitation.
Shumlin's veto of the measure calling for increased reporting by the state's Adult Protective Services division came five months after groups representing the elderly and disabled sued Vermont, saying the state had a backlog of hundreds of investigations of physical abuse and financial exploitation of its most vulnerable residents.
Lawmakers responded to the concerns raised by groups Disability Rights Vermont and the Community of Vermont Elders by passing a bill calling for greater performance reporting by APS, which is a division of the state Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living. That department, in turn, is part of the Agency of Human Services.
Shumlin called the bill "an example of misplaced good intentions. By requiring expensive, time-consuming, and duplicative reports by the Agency of Human Services to the legislature, this bill distracts AHS from doing its job: protecting our most vulnerable Vermonters," he said in a written veto message.
"I am vetoing this bill because it does nothing to advance the goal of protecting those vulnerable Vermonters, adds yet another layer of bureaucracy to state government, and wastes taxpayer dollars," Shumlin added.
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Shumlin Vetoes Increased Protection Reporting for Elderly