LANSING – State Rep. John Chirkun (D-Roseville) announced today that Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law his bill increasing protections for vulnerable adults. Public Act 480 of 2016 (House Bill 5422) allows 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.

 “We need to be aware of abuse that leaves no physical signs because it is just as damaging and harmful to the victim,” said Chirkun. “Now, if caregivers fail to protect and meet the needs of the elderly or vulnerable person they are supposed to care for, we can charge them even when the abuse leaves no physical signs.”

Previously, the law required that physical harm occur during vulnerable adult abuse. Chirkun’s bill was a reintroduction of HB 4550, which was introduced by former state Rep. Derek Miller.

“As a former law enforcement officer, I know what can happen when a caregiver fails a vulnerable adult,” said Chirkun. “I thank my former legislative colleague, Derek Miller, for starting this effort to increase protections for our seniors and other vulnerable adults, and I thank Gov. Snyder for signing my bill into law.”