AARP Massachusetts and other supporters of the uniform adult guardianship bill before the Massachusetts legislature were on Beacon Hill today, testifying in favor of HB 1366, which, if passed, would make uniform guardianship law in the Bay State.
The bill's official name, An Act Relative to Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction, is under review by the state Joint Committee on the Judiciary (UAGPPJ).
Mike Festa, AARP Massachusetts state director, gave testimony before the Joint Committee earlier today. Festa has written about the importance of uniform guardianship, and today he urged legislators to take favorable action on the bill.
"AARP is fighting to remove barriers that prevent guardians in our state from providing for their loved ones, regardless of where they live," Festa said. "We strongly support House Bill No. 1366 to protect the interests of vulnerable, incapacitated adults who need guardians."
Festa continued, "In brief, the uniform act provides guidance to the courts on how to resolve common questions and frequently expensive extra court proceedings that develop when a guardianship case involves more than one state. It does not change state substantive law but rather fills a gap by creating a uniform set of rules to sort out sticky multi-state issues. And, these changes would have no budget impact."
Thirty-eight (38) states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have adopted the UAGPPJA. Currently, legislation is pending in three state legislatures; Mississippi just signed uniform guardsianship legilation into law a few weeks ago.
To learn more about uniform adult guardianship, read Festa's column" Massachusetts Needs Uniform Guardianship," which appeared in the March issue of FiftyPlusAdvocate.com.
Photos by Leslie Sipher, AARP Massachusetts advocacy specialist