Bill creates criminal penalties for those that commit financial abuse against our seniors citizens.
Austin, Texas: Moments after being sworn into the Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Shawn Thierry (Houston) walked directly to the House Chief Clerk's office to file her first piece of legislation.
This comprehensive act, house bill 959, named the Financial Elder Abuse And Exploitation Prevention Act, is the first of its kind in Texas and will aim to prevent financial abuse of the elderly. Texas has one of the largest populations of senior citizens. However, unlike states such as Alabama, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Washington --Texas fails to provide any legal protections for senior citizens from those who intentionally aim to steal their life's earnings through schemes and scams.
"Along with the rest of the state of Texas, my district has a growing number of senior citizens. We must do better to protect their peace of mind during their golden years," said Rep. Thierry.
House bill 959 defines which acts constitute elderly financial abuse which, for the first time, will codify these types of offenses into Texas law. To deter would-be predators, this bill creates criminal penalties for those who attempt to prey on our senior citizens. Additionally, the bill mandates that banks and financial institutions report suspected abuse so that perpetrators will be investigated and apprehended.
"Our seniors are the foundation of our communities. We need to do everything that we can to prevent the financial exploitation of our elderly, and protect those who are unable to protect themselves," said Rep. Thierry. "It is clear to me that this legislative session will be defined by our ability to place value in protecting the most vulnerable Texans."
The Texas Legislature meets every odd numbered year in January for 140 days. Texas’ 85th Legislative Session began on January 10th.
Media Contact: David Glenn