State Rep. Patti Minter prefiles a bill to update conservatorship laws in Kentucky


History professor and Kentucky State Representative candidate Patti Minter will host an event at the Sinkhole Sanctuary March 23. Minter will be talking about her plans for the future of District 20 which includes WKU and helping with voters registration.

Michael Crimmins, News reporter

WKU History Professor and State Representative, Patti Minter, introduced a bill to update conservatorships earlier this month.

The CARE act, or the ‘Conservatorship Advocacy to Remove Exploitation’ act, aims to update guardianship and conservatorship in the Commonwealth and addresses the issues brought to public attention by pop icon Britney Spears’ conservatorship, which was ended last month by a judge ruling

“The point of the CARE Act is to make sure conservatorships work as intended and that they help the people who need it instead of opening loopholes that can be abusive,” Minter said.

The press release states the bill will “prevent the abuse or exploitation of people who are unable to make decisions for themselves.”

“The Britney Spears conservatorship case actually speaks to the larger issue that conservatorship laws need reform,” Minter said. “The conservatorship law in Kentucky was drafted in the 80’s and desperately in need of revision because many conservatorships do what they’re supposed to, they take care of people who need help but conservatorship abuse can happen.”

Roughly, 14 years after a Los Angeles court deemed the pop star unable to care for herself, a judge ruled in November to end the conservatorship, according to the New York Times. 

Minter said the CARE act would do three main things..

Firstly, the bill would make it easier for an individual to request a modification, or termination, of their conservatorship.

“This bill would make it easier to request modifications or termination of their conservatorship, or guardianship, if the circumstances change,” Minter said. “Particularly when dealing with people who live with mental illness situations can change.” 

Secondly, the bill would give judges more authority to modify conservatorships if deemed necessary..

“The current law does not allow judges to modify this agreement,” Minter said. “So this will allow judges to have the authority to change the arrangements when they think it’s appropriate.”

The bill also would make it easier for individuals to stay in contact with their families.

“If someone has been removed from a family situation and put into a conservatorship…the rule in current law is very, very strict, and there’s no way that you can help people have modified visitation,” Minter said

The CARE act is prefiled as Bill Request 850. The bill will be considered in the 2022 General Assembly. 

The current conservatorship law is “simply a law that’s worked for a while but is now very clear what some of its limitations are,” Minter said. 

To read the full bill request, click here.

News reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @michael_crimm