House Approves Chirkun Bill Protecting Vulnerable Adults

Bill would give more options to charge abusers
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

LANSING — State Representative John Chirkun (D-Roseville) thanked his colleagues in the Michigan House of Representatives today for the passage of his bill, House Bill 5422, which makes it easier to charge people who have committed vulnerable adult abuse. House Bill 5422 is a reintroduction of HB 4550, which was introduced by former state Representative Derek Miller.

“I thank my colleagues for their quick action on this bill, and I thank my former colleague, Derek Miller, for first introducing this bill and bringing this issue to our attention,” said Chirkun. “Abuse of our senior citizens can be obvious physical abuse or other abuse that is harder to quickly spot, such as the failure of a caregiver to provide basic needs or to protect an elder from harm,” said Chirkun. “By expanding the definition of vulnerable adult abuse, we can do a better job of protecting our elders and spotting abuse quickly when it occurs.”  

Currently, the law requires that physical harm occur in order for it to be considered vulnerable adult abuse. Chirkun’s bill would change this so that it will allow a person who abuses a vulnerable adult to be charged if that person knowingly or intentionally commits an act that poses an unreasonable risk, harm or injury to a vulnerable adult, regardless of whether physical harm results.

“I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues so we can send this much-needed bill to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature,” Chirkun said.