State lawmaker introduces bill to reform conservatorships

Mental health reform bill proposed after Britney Spears conservatorship ruling

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – State Rep. Patti Minter is introducing the CARE Act to reform guardianships and conservatorships in Kentucky and prevent the abuse or exploitation of people who are unable to make decisions for themselves.

Short for “Conservatorship Advocacy to Remove Exploitation,” the CARE Act would give greater voice to people subject to guardianships or conservatorships to express their needs to courts, and would give courts greater authority to make changes when appropriate.

The CARE Act addresses issues brought to light by the case of Britney Spears, whose conservatorship was ended by a judge last month.

“While our current laws on conservatorships and guardianships are meant to help people who cannot help themselves, they can be misused, leading to abusive situations similar to what Britney Spears experienced. This happens here in Kentucky to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, which is why it is vital that we update our laws and keep guardianships and conservatorships free from abuse,” Minter said.

The CARE Act would make it easier for people to request modifications and termination of their guardianship or conservatorship if their circumstances have changed, as well as to remain in contact with their families through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Individuals may be placed under the care of a conservatorship or guardianship if a court deems them to be unable to make decisions for themselves due to their mental health or cognitive disabilities.

The CARE Act is currently pre-filed as Bill Request 850 and will be considered in the 2022 session of the General Assembly.

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