Two years ago, a team of Herald investigative reporters unveiled a true-life horror story. Frail, vulnerable Floridians are being neglected, abused and even killed in assisted-living facilities ( Neglected to Death, April 30, 2011), and the state is failing to protect them. Seventy deaths occurred between 2002 and 2011, as well as hundreds of shocking neglect cases.
Florida lawmakers pledged swift action. Yet not only did lawmakers fail to act in 2012, but legislation in this year’s session now appears stalled and in danger of dying as the 2013 session nears a close. Frail older Floridians deserve much better.
It’s past time for House leaders to move forward with meaningful legislation.
If lawmakers once again fail to show leadership in 2013, it will be much worse than a disappointment. It will be an outrage. Lives literally hang in the balance.
Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida State Director, St. Petersburg