Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Editorial: Guardian bill would improve oversight

The Florida Legislature will convene early in 2016, so Sen. Nancy Detert has filed an important elder-protection bill extra early.

State representatives and senators will commence their annual 60-day regular session Jan. 12, in order to conclude before the March 15 presidential-preference primaries.

Detert, a Sarasota County Republican, recently filed Senate Bill 232, which seeks to increase state oversight of all guardians appointed to oversee the affairs of incapacitated adults, most of whom are elderly. The bill would, among other things, establish an Office of Public and Professional Guardians. 

The office would, as Barbara Peters Smith reported in the Herald-Tribune, certify and supervise court-appointed guardians. It would also serve as a "complaint department," Detert said.

The September filing is consistent with the Legislature's schedule next year and, as Detert noted, "If it falls off the tracks, we have time to put it back [on]."

The proposed legislation is both warranted and welcome. It should have been passed during the 2015 regular session. (Detert's bill, filed under a different number, was approved by the Senate but died when the House of Representatives abruptly and irresponsibly adjourned.)

Fortunately, legislation to improve Florida's guardianship statute made it through both chambers of the Legislature before the adjournment. House Bill 5, filed by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, tightened the relevant law, clarified the duties of guardians, instituted tougher penalties for wrongdoing and required more notice of emergency, temporary proceedings.  (Continue Reading)

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Editorial: Guardian bill would improve oversight

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Senator Detert