In March of 2022, Arizona Senate Bill 1242 (SB 1242) was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey to strengthen background checks of individuals who want to work at nursing homes or assisted living facilities in the state by prohibiting people with felony convictions involving “violence or financial fraud” from obtaining fingerprint clearance to become licensed.
“Our nursing homes and assisted living facilities deserve accountability and leadership from their supervisors. SB 1242 accomplishes this. Our seniors – grandmothers, grandfathers, and family members – deserve nothing less to ensure their safety, happiness, and health,” Governor Ducey stated in a news release about the law on the Governor’s website.
Sponsored by State Senator Tyler Pace (R-District 25), SB 1242 enhances background checks for licensure through the Arizona Board of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers (NCIA) which will work with the Arizona Department of Health Services to establish a process for identifying and referring complaints between the agencies.
The legislation defines crimes that constitute felony convictions involving “violence or financial fraud” as forty-six specific offenses that include – but are not limited to – homicide, sexual assault, sexual abuse, child abuse, neglect of a vulnerable adult, indecent exposure, terrorism, theft, forgery, fraudulent use of a credit card, welfare fraud, kidnapping, and robbery.
In addition, beginning on January 1, 2023, the law will require each applicant for initial NCIA certification to submit a full set of fingerprints to the NCIA Board for a state and federal criminal history records check. The law also states the Arizona Department of Public Safety may exchange this fingerprint data with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
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