Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, announced that Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed her first bill, Elder and Adult Abuse Reporting (Assembly Bill 751), aimed at protecting the safety and well-being of California’s senior and disabled communities.
AB 751 signifies a significant step forward in combating the pervasive issue of abuse targeting these vulnerable populations, said a news release from the assemblywoman’s office.
“I’m so proud that our first bill signed by Gov. Newsom is AB 751, aimed at protecting the safety of our senior and disabled communities,” Schiavo said in the release. “This bill earned bipartisan support from my colleagues in the Legislature because too often, these communities are targeted and preyed upon. It’s critical that when abuse is reported, it’s investigated. This milestone achievement represents a collective effort to prioritize the safety and security of our senior and disabled populations.”
AB 751 addresses the urgent need for law enforcement agencies to improve their training and investigative protocols concerning abuse inflicted on elderly and disabled people, the release said. The legislation mandates that agencies provide comprehensive information and training on various types of abuse, ensuring a more informed and effective response to these distressing incidents.
In California, there are approximately 8.5 million older adults and 9 million people with disabilities, encompassing both adults and children. These individuals are uniquely susceptible to the harms of abuse and other serious crimes, which often go unreported, uninvestigated and unpunished, the release said. Abuse can manifest in diverse forms, including physical and psychological mistreatment, financial exploitation and caregiver neglect.
“This is the next, major step toward a revolutionary change in how law enforcement protects California’s 9 million adults and children with disabilities and its 8.5 million older adults,” Greg deGiere, with the Advocates for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities California, said in the release from Schiavo’s office.
AB 751 also garnered support from both senior and disability groups.
“We want to thank the Legislature and the governor for prioritizing the health and safety of all Californians, especially our children, seniors and people with disabilities with the passage of AB 751,” Dwayne Camp Jr., with the California Alliance for Retired Americans, said in the release. “This legislation is pivotal to ensure law enforcement is better equipped with the resources to more equitably protect our most vulnerable communities and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with all stakeholders during the implementation process.”