Gov. Jery Brown signed a local lawmaker's bill last week, making law a measure that would protect vulnerable members of the community.
Written by Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), AB 620 requires certain care facilities serving adults with developmental disabilities and the elderly to develop plans to notify family members and law enforcement when an individual under their care goes missing.
"This bill was a high priority for me. It was brought to me by a constituent, Denise Lester, after her developmentally disabled daughter was missing for over seven hours from a care facility, and subsequently required three days hospitalization," Buchanan said. "Another case in our county had a tragic ending when an Alzheimer's patient was found dead after wandering from her care facility. We were surprised to learn that current law has no requirement for a facility to notify family or law enforcement."
Lester was present when Gov. Brown signed the measure and added, "The night my daughter went missing, I learned that common sense was not common at all. I appreciate the work of Assemblymember Buchanan and her staff and applaud the governor signing AB 620. The bill will protect disabled adults and give family members peace of mind knowing that proper procedures are in place should their loved one go missing."
Assembly Bill 620 passed out of the Legislature with strong bi-partisan support and was supported by AARP, Alzheimer's Association, State Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Arc & United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration, as well as many other organizations and individuals.