Senate Passes Bill to Protect Georgia’s Senior Citizens and Individuals with Special Needs

ATLANTA (March 5, 2013) – Sen. John Albers (R –Roswell) applauds the passage of SB 207, which passed the Senate by a vote of 47 to 4. Sponsored by Sen. Albers, this legislation will allow private home care providers to obtain first offenders information on potential job applicants.

“I am pleased by the Senate’s favorable consideration of Senate Bill 207 in the Senate today,” said Sen. Albers.  “The passage of this legislation is an important safeguard against abuse in the private home care setting and seeks to protect our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Under the Georgia First Offender Act, individuals are allowed to opt-out of reporting a felony if they successfully complete the terms of their sentence. However, offenses such as child molestation, incest, sexual battery, abuse, or exploitation will immediately disqualify individuals from employment with institutions such as schools, child care facilities and nursing homes. Senate Bill 207 would add private home care providers to this list.

Private home care providers serve many functions, including providing nursing services, personal care tasks, meal preparation, and companion or sitter tasks for individuals who are elderly, handicapped, or convalesced.

Doug Lueder is the Atlanta Advocacy Chair of the National Aging in Place Council. His experience of catching an abusive caregiver sparked Sen. Albers’ initial interest in the bill.

“Today’s vote is a great step in the right direction, although there is still more to do,” said Doug Lueder, Atlanta Advocacy Chair of the National Aging in Place Council. “Thanks to Senator Albers and all of the other Senators who co-sponsored the bill, we are one step closer to creating a safer home care environment for all Georgians.”

Senate Bill 207 will now transfer to the House of Representatives for consideration.

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2013

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist