Georgia seniors protected from financial exploitation under new law

The state House of Representatives gave final passage Wednesday to legislation aimed at preventing the financial exploitation of Georgia seniors.

The bill, which the Georgia Senate passed last month, authorizes financial advisors to delay transactions involving their elderly or disabled clients if they suspect fraud.

“Georgia has a strong tradition of protecting elders from abuse,” Rep. Carter Barrett, R-Cumming, who carried Senate Bill 84 in the House, told his legislative colleagues during a short discussion before Wednesday’s unanimous vote.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger backed the legislation, noting during a news conference in January that financial exploitation of seniors has been on the rise since the pandemic struck three years ago. The Securities Division in the secretary of state’s office processes complaints of financial exploitation.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, steered the bill through the Senate, where it also passed unanimously.

The legislation now heads to Gov. Brian Kemp for signing.