Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TGA’s Response to Governor Abbott’s Veto of SB667

“The Texas Guardianship Association has advocated for more than twenty years for a caring, responsible, and comprehensive system to care for vulnerable adults by protecting them from abuse, neglect, and exploitation when court-imposed guardianship is necessary. The guardianship community and other advocates came together to unanimously support Senate Bill 667, sponsored by Senator Judith Zaffirini, which would have provided the Texas Office of Court Administration with funding to independently audit guardianship cases in Texas courts to ensure that court-appointed guardians are in compliance with the Texas Estates Code. The veto of this bill by Governor Abbott was not only surprising but also highlights the need for enhanced understanding of the need for protection of adults with diminished capacity at the highest levels of our state government.

While it is true that the Governor has signed into law a number of guardianship reform bills over the past two legislative sessions, these bills were primarily designed to impose additional responsibilities on guardians, who are most often family members who may not know or fully understand their duties as guardians. Lacking in the reforms to date have been provisions that would assist the courts in ensuring that court-appointed guardians are in compliance with these progressive statutes.

The Governor’s veto of funding for Senate Bill 667 prevents the Office of Court Administration from having the funds and staff necessary to ensure that every guardian in every case is in compliance with State law. This bill was the first step in a process that would have assisted Texas courts in becoming more proactive and responsible in ensuring guardians are properly managing the personal and financial affairs of vulnerable Texans.

The Texas Guardianship Association will move forward with a renewed commitment to educate public officials and the private community in Texas regarding additional reforms needed to protect adults in Texas. In this regard, the first order of business is to analyze the challenges faced by general jurisdiction courts in Texas that generally have thousands of active cases without specialized staff to monitor and audit activities by guardians. With more than 50,000 adults and in excess of five billion dollars under management by Texas guardians, this should be the first order of business by elected officials in Texas.”

Terry W Hammond, President of the TGA Board of Directors

Full Article & Source:
TGA’s Response to Governor Abbott’s Veto of SB667

See Also:
Read SB 667

1 comment:

Finny said...

Apparently the veto was all about money. The elderly get screwed first in the state's budget.