Beshear and legislative leaders advocate for adult abuse registry

02/20/2014 11:44 AM

To blow the whistle on and cut down on abuse of Kentucky’s senior citizens, Governor Steve Beshear and a bipartisan group of lawmakers called for the formation of a detailed registry.

The registry would be controlled by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services starting after the legislation is enacted. Legislators told reporters in the Capitol on Thursday that names of caregivers in abuse cases will only appear in the database if they are “substantiated.”

“There won’t be mistakes on there. It will be completely substantiated before a name goes on there because this would effect someone’s ability to be employed,” said Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington, the sponsor of the legislation in the House.

Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, R-Monticelleo, has similar legislation in the Senate, and she added that a “full administrative hearing process and the opportunity to have an appeal of a substantiation.”

Gregory’s bill has already cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and is scheduled for a floor vote Thursday afternoon.

Beshear proposed a registry in 2012 and legislators appropriated $2.2 million to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to support the creation of a adult abuse registry in the 2012 budget, but legislators never passed the enabling legislation.

“If legislation is enacted this year, and it needs to be, funds are already there to support this registry,” Beshear said.

There are 23 other states who have similar registry’s to report adult abuse.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, and Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, both took part in the press conference signaling their support for the registry.

“Much to the chagrin of some of the media we have come together again in a bipartisan way. This is not about Republicans or Democrats, the speaker, or myself, or the governor — this is about taking care of our seniors,” Stivers said.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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