Bill aimed at protecting seniors from exploitation gets hearing

JUNEAU -- A bill to protect senior citizens and minors against exploitation received its first hearing before the Alaska House Judiciary Committee.

Proposed by Gov. Sean Parnell, the bill pays particular attention to crimes committed against people over 65 who are targeted for their age and vulnerability.

The bill designates workers at nursing homes, residential care facilities and education institutions as mandated reporters, and compels them to notify authorities if someone under their care is being exploited.

Additionally, targeting a person over 65 specifically for their age would become an aggravating circumstance under the bill.

After hearing testimony from state attorneys and social workers, the committee held the bill for further consideration.