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Minutes for HB2153 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Increasing the criminal penalty for mistreatment of a dependent adult or elder person when the victim is a reside of an adult care home.

Minutes Content for Mon, Feb 8, 2021

 

Chairperson Patton opened the hearing on HB2153.  Natalie Scott provided an overview of the bill. (Attachment 1) Ms. Scott stood for questions.

Steven Karrer, testified in support of HB2153(Attachment 2) Mr. Karrer stated this proposal is aimed at acts of mistreatment which result in, or can result in physical harm to residents of adult care facilities. It would make all such offenses presumptive prison. This proposal also removes some of the barriers to seeking an enhanced sentence. At present, the only way of seeking an enhanced penalty for contract caregivers is to seek upward departure which means that a jury must be empaneled. Even if this proposal is adopted and made law, upward departure would remain as an option if the facts warranted. For these reasons, on behalf of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Mr. Karrer encouraged the membership to report HB2153 out of committee favorably. Mr. Karrer stood for questions.

Proponent Written

  • Margaret Farley, Executive Director, Kansas Advocates for Better Care (Attachment 3)

Bryan Cox provided neutral testimony for HB2153(Attachment 4) Mr. Cox stated the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers believes HB2153 attempts to pursue an important goal of protecting residents of adult care facilities, some of the most vulnerable and dependent people in our state. They strongly support that objective. However, this bill is not likely to take meaningful steps in that direction, and risks serious negative side-effects. For this reason, he is testifying neutrally on this bill.  He proposed amendments to this bill that would successfully meet the objectives of the bill without the current drawbacks. Those amendments are explained in his written attached testimony.

Rachel Monger, on behalf of Leading Age Kansas, offered neutral testimony of HB2153(Attachment 5) Ms. Monger stated if penalties are to increase for people experiencing abuse in residential and institutional settings, they believe that the enhanced penalties should cover vulnerable adults in all of those settings.

Chairperson Patton closed the hearing on HB2153