February 1, 2023
Nate Crippes / Public Affairs Supervising Attorney
Andrew Riggle / Public Policy Advocate
(801) 363-1347 / (800) 662-9080
Good afternoon committee members. My name’s Andrew Riggle. I’m the disability Law Center’s public policy advocate.
As some of you may know, the DLC’s the state’s designated Protection and Advocacy agency for Utahns with disabilities. Congress gives us unique authority to monitor and investigate the health, safety, and well-being of individuals with disabilities living in the community or facilities.
In the course of our duties, we often coordinate with Adult Protective Services. In fact, it’s not unheard of for our responsibilities to overlap. As a result, we’ve experienced a few of the challenges APS encounters trying to do its job.
Obviously, first among these are reimbursement rates and staff shortages. Consequently, inperson follow-up may not be as frequent or as in-depth as we’d all like.
While it certainly doesn’t solve the underlying problem, giving APS authority to obtain documents by administrative subpoena in limited capacity cases – when a party refuses to voluntarily provide them – may allow it to resolve allegations without the need for an in-person investigation. It may also enable it to more quickly and easily identify cases that merit exactly that.
The possibility of using limited resources to better protect vulnerable adults at high risk for abuse, neglect, or exploitation is why we support Sen. Kwan’s SB 140. We urge you to do the same.