Why did background checks for caregivers die in committee?


To the Editor:

There is a criminal background check in Rhode Island for CNAs, homemakers and other aides, but they are only required to pass a state criminal background of offenses committed in Rhode Island.

The federal government gave Rhode Island a $1.3 million federal grant to set up a national background check system. Rhode Island has until Sept. 30 to implement the program or lose the money.

Representative Eileen Naughton, of District 21, introduced House Bill 5469, National Criminal Background Check; it passed the House, but the State Senate, for the second year in a row, sent the bill back to committee for further study. The bill again died in committee. This will apparently cause our state to lose the $1.3 million federal grant.

If, in the future, the federal government requires states to implement national criminal background checks for all caregiver employees, Rhode Island will have to come up with the funding.

What bothers me is the fact that our elected state senators let the bill, which would protect our elderly, disabled veterans and children (who require a caretaker) from caretakers who have criminal records in other states, die in committee.

John E. O’Hara

Legislative Officer VFW Post 2812



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