It gets unanimous approval, yet doesn’t receive unanimous praise as the House approves the Protection of the Elderly Act and sends it to the Senate. The act would require suspected elder abuse and suspicious deaths at nursing homes be reported to police. The Division of Aging could force nursing homes with violations to comply with staffing ratios as well as training and supervision plans. Any division employee who tips off a nursing home to a surprise inspection would be fired. Sponsor Craig Hosmer of Springfield asserts the state’s right to regulate homes to which it provides funding. Yet others, such as Representative Mark Richardson of Poplar Bluff, points out the state falls short $5,000 per year per senior adult in its reimbursement to nursing homes. He says neither the legislature nor the governor have made it the priority they should.
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