Governor signs Wagoner bill to protect vulnerable adults

New law allows better record-sharing and transparency between DSHS and law enforcement

Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed a measure sponsored by Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, aimed at improving adult protective services. It requires the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and law enforcement to share information contained in reports and findings of abandonment, abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect of vulnerable adults with each other.

The law created by Senate Bill 5370 also expands the number of mandated reporters to include employees of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, a certified residential service, or a support agency.

“Helping to protect our state’s most vulnerable individuals is one of the core purposes of government,” said Wagoner. “Those who are not able to take care of themselves rely on the state to ensure that those who are responsible for their care and well-being are fulfilling their obligation to report any neglect, harm and exploitation. Those identified as ‘mandatory reporters’ are on the front line in this effort. This law will help make sure that they are aware of the critical role they play and the responsibilities that come with that job.”

The new law, which was passed by the Senate 47-0 and the House 96-0, will go into effect on July 23, 2023.