Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, released the following statement after the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act, a bill Senator Cortez Masto cosponsored to prevent and prosecute elder abuse throughout the country, was approved by the Senate.
“The principle of respecting and honoring our elders was instilled in me at a very young age,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Our elders, however, are all too often targeted by individuals who see their vulnerabilities and take advantage of them, causing pain and suffering for those trying to live through their golden years in peace. We need to put a stop to this. As Nevada Attorney General, I was passionate about the need to protect our seniors and took decisive action to address this. I am proud to join my Senate colleagues from both parties in passing this legislation. We owe it to our seniors.”
The Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act expands data collection and information sharing among federal, state, and local authorities to better prevent and respond to all forms of elder abuse; improves training of federal investigators and prosecutors to better identify and address the exploitation and neglect of elders; ensures that each judicial district has at least one prosecutor with experience in dealing with these types of cases; establishes an Elder Justice Coordinator at the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection; and increases penalties for the perpetrators of these offenses, including mandatory forfeiture, to deter future crimes.
During her time as Nevada Attorney General (2007-2015), Senator Cortez Masto fought aggressively against the abuse and exploitation of elders. She was responsible for establishing the Senior Protection Unit within her office to ensure that investigators and prosecutors have the necessary resources to pursue those who abuse elders. Additionally, Senator Cortez Masto drafted legislation targeting private guardians who abuse elders.