Senate committee votes to strengthen elder abuse protections

The Michigan Senate Committee on Judiciary listens to testimony from family members who say their loved ones were isolated. (Feb. 13, 2018).

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Senate Committee on Judiciary approved a bill to strengthen protections against elderly abuse Tuesday.

Several people spoke at the meeting, including family members of American Top 40 Host Casey Kasem, actor Mickey Rooney and singer Glen Campbell. All of them said their loved ones were isolated toward the end of their lives.

The bill would allow family members to petition the court to determine if their family member is being isolated and allow the courts to step in. Senator Jim Marleau, who represents Michigan’s 12th District, said he sponsored the bill after speaking with Kasem’s daughter, Kerri.

“All we’re trying to do is help family and let them put their lives back together and be with their loved ones,” Sen. Marleau said.

Senator Rick Jones, the committee’s chair, said the bill had the support of the committee going into the meeting.

“That’s such a good feeling, especially with the senate judiciary committee…it’s not an easy committee. They really look through things,” Kerri Kasem said. “But they are completely aware of this epidemic.”

The bill was approved unanimously, prompting cheers and applause from the gallery. It now moves to the senate floor.