The state’s senior citizen advocate is one of the top state officials pushing for new laws to better protect elderly people in Missouri. Lieutenant Governor Joe Maxwell and Governor Holden are advocating for changes in nursing home laws that would make it easier for the Department of Health and Senior Services to keep nursing home operators who abuse, neglect, or financially exploit senior citizens from working in the state, that would put tougher penalties on those who break the rules and would make operators more accountable. Maxwell says current rules are too weak. But Maxwell says he does not want to punish the nursing homes that might have a minor, one-time problem. That’s why there would still be certain limits on punishments. Maxwell admits changes have been shot down in the legislature the last couple of years. But he believes he’ll be able to get the industry on board to back the proposal this time.