Gov. Mark Dayton plans to create a Cabinet-level task force to address what he calls an appalling failure of the state to protect elderly residents from abuse in senior care homes.

Gov. Mark Dayton plans to create a Cabinet-level task force to address what he calls an appalling failure of the state to protect elderly residents from abuse in senior care homes.

The task force will consist of state agency heads and experts on senior abuse and elder justice. Dayton wants reform proposals for the 2018 Legislature, which convenes in February.

Dayton says he considers some acts of elder abuse to be criminal acts, and he doesn't understand why they aren't handled that way.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports a newspaper investigation found that hundreds of vulnerable residents at senior care centers across Minnesota are beaten, sexually assaulted or robbed each year. The newspaper says no one is punished in a majority of cases because the state lacks staff and expertise to investigate.