LANSING, Mich. — A package of bills aimed at putting stronger protections in place for the Michigan’s senior citizens has been introduced again after stalling out in the state Senate last year.
House Bills 4472 through 4479 are making their way through the state House again this session.
The eight-bill package seeks to improve protections for seniors and add some that aren’t currently part of state law.
The bills would re-work some penal codes to create a category called elder adults, people who are 80 years old or older. The proposed legislation would also impose stiffer criminal penalties for stealing from or assaulting an elder adult.
“We know that there’s been lots of scams and lots of folks who are using a health crisis to exploit folks, to particularly exploit senior citizens and other vulnerable populations," said state Rep. Sarah Anthony, one of the lawmakers sponsoring the bills. "So I think COVID is even more timely to finally address elder abuse in our state."
According to the Michigan House of Representatives, people aged 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population segment in Michigan. Current census projections forecast there will be 2.7 million Michigan residents age 60 and older by 2030.
The American Bankers Association estimates that over $2.9 billion dollars has been stolen from seniors across the country in the last year alone.
Anthony says she fully expects these bills to become law.