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This bill would require that if a person who is a ward is taken into custody, peace officers must notify a probate court that has jurisdiction over the ward’s guardianship not later than the first working day after the ward is taken into custody.
This bill would require that before a person is appointed guardian, they complete a free training course designed to educate guardians about their responsibilities as guardians, alternatives to guardianship, supports and services available to the ward, and the ward’s bill of rights. A floor amendment in the Senate would allow a court to grant a waiver of this mandatory training. The state supreme court would be required to determine the circumstances under which a court may
waive the training.
The bill would also require the Health and Human Services Commission to obtain fingerprint-based criminal history of applicants to be guardians if the liquid assets of the estate of the ward exceed $50,000 and name-based criminal history if the assets are $50,000 or less. The commission would be allowed to charge a fee to obtain criminal history under the section, and a guardian would be entitled to reimbursement for the fee.
The bill would also establish a registration program for guardianships including establishing a central database of all guardianships subject to the jurisdiction of the state. The database would have a "limited purpose of determining whether an individual has a guardian and obtaining a guardian ’s contact information." Law enforcement would have access to the database for those limited purposes.
When this bill was before the Senate on second reading our position was No; Amend based on the mandatory training requirement. We suggested amending the bill to exempt familial guardians from the training requirements. An amendment was offered and adopted to allow a court to grant a waiver under circumstances to be determined by the state supreme court. This amendment satisfies our objection and we have moved our position to neutral.