During his State of the Judiciary address to lawmakers last month, State Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson expressed his concern over elder abuse. He said the abuse of seniors exists in South Dakota, although the extent of the abuse is unknown. He said it’s a growing problem with the number of senior citizens increasing. Gilbertson said the issue is worthy of a partnership between the three branches of government similar to the cooperation that secured the passage of the Public Safety Improvement Act in 2013, which reformed the state’s criminal justice system.
Republican State Senator David Novstrup of Aberdeen has taken the legislative lead and is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 168 which would establish a legislative task force to study elder abuse in the state. The bill is heard in the Senate Retirement Laws committee on Wednesday. Novstrup discussed the bill on Dakota Midday.