Schwarzenegger wants new home health care hiring laws

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called on state lawmakers to enact legislation that would prevent violent felons from caring for ailing residents in California home health care programs.

Schwarzenegger says in his letter to Senate and Assembly leaders Friday that the department's inability to reject caregiver candidates with criminal records represents a grave threat to the safety of home care recipients.

The governor made his request following a Los Angeles Times report that felons convicted of rape, deadly weapon assault and other violent crimes are scheduled to resume or begin employment as caregivers.

Lawmakers have the power to change program rules to stop the hires, but efforts to fix the problem have been stalled in the Legislature.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.