© 2024
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bipartisan Effort to End Financial Exploitation of Seniors Headed to Northam's Desk

AP Photo / Steve Helber

Republicans and Democrats are often at each other’s throats at the Capitol. But there is one issue where they are finding agreement: fighting exploitation of seniors.

Sometimes scams can work fast, much faster than efforts to track them down and stop them. This is especially true with scams aimed at seniors, a vulnerable group of people who are often targeted. That’s why a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers is working a bill directing the attorney general to establish ongoing communications with the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services about scams.

The bill was introduced by Republican Senator Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg. 

“We have seniors who are losing somewhere between $50 million and $1 billion a year to financial exploitation," he says. "It’s tough to keep track of, and it’s tough to protect these people but we need to do a better job of doing that.”

He’s working with Democratic Senator Jennifer Boysko of Herndon.

“I’ve worked years to protect our seniors so they can stay here in the community and be not exploited. This is a nonpartisan issue," Boysko says. "We should be working together on this. It’s one of the times when Senator Obenshain and I see eye to eye on public policy.”

The bill has now passed the House and Senate and it’s on its way to the governor’s desk.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.