Safeguarding Colorado’s Most Vulnerable

(May 1) – Two bills aimed at implementing protections for some of Colorado’s most vulnerable people passed the House today.

SB13-047, sponsored in the House by Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), passed by a vote of 63 to one and strengthens protections against identity theft by expanding the current statute to comply with federal law and reflect best practices by including children and youth in foster care and requiring annual credit reports rather than a single report.

“It is a sad reality that identity theft of our youth who are in our foster care system is a problem,” Rep. Fields said. “This will help us prevent those children, who already have many obstacles to overcome, from having their credit ruined even before they are able to live on their own.”

SB13-111, sponsored in the House by Reps. Sue Schafer (D-Wheat Ridge) and Amy Stephens (R-Monument), takes the recommendations made by the Elder Abuse Task Force and requires specified professionals and individuals to report to law enforcement instances of suspected abuse, caretaker neglect and financial exploitation of at-risk elders. The bill also improves accountability and funding for investigations and protective services so that the right services will be available at the right time to help ensure at-risk elders’ safety and well-being. The bill passed 56 to eight.

“Colorado is one of just three states that do not require the reporting of elder abuse, and this bill changes that,” Rep. Schafer said. “We must protect those who are most vulnerable from being mistreated and abused.”

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