Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Criminal Neglect Bill Passes State House

A bill proposed by State Representative Don Walko has passed the House with a vote of 195-0. The legislation would allow for criminal charges of neglect to be brought against the owners or staff of any personal care home with three or fewer residents. Currently state law only allows for such charges to be brought against personal care homes with 4 or more patients. The bill passed the House last year with 196 votes in the positive and none in the negative but was unable to pass the Senate because the session ended before it could be voted on. Walko has pushed for this bill because of the death of a neglected personal care patient who died in 1996. Goldie Scherlacher was in an unregulated personal care home in Allegheny County and lost 36 pounds in the month that she resided there. Because the care home was unregulated neglect charges were unable to be brought against the owners of the home.

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