SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A bill introduced by state Rep. Jenn Ladisch Douglass, D-Elmhurst, to protect residents of long-term care facilities and prevent the exploitation of seniors and people with disabilities passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives.
“As a practicing attorney and now as a state representative, one of my top priorities is to protect vulnerable members of our community and improve their quality of life,” Ladisch Douglass said. “This bill provides common sense solutions to potentially life-threatening problems, improving the safety of long-term care facilities and preventing financial exploitation.”
To prevent the financial exploitation of Illinois’ most vulnerable, House Bill 2100 provides that exploitation of a senior or person with a disability, as outlined in statute, is guilty of a Class 1 felony if the elderly person is 70 years of age or older and the value of the property is $15,000 or more. The bill also changes language in the statute concerning abuse or criminal neglect of long-term care facility residents so that more people, rather than only seniors and people with disabilities, are covered under the law. These efforts not only improve the safety of long-term care facility residents, but also deters bad actors from exploiting seniors and people with disabilities.
The bill has the backing of several law enforcement groups, including the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, and the DuPage County State’s Attorney.
“The COVID-19 pandemic shed light on existing issues in long-term care facilities, and this bill seeks to right some of those wrongs,” Ladisch Douglass said. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill and help protect seniors, people with disabilities, and residents of long-term care facilities in Illinois.”
The bill passed out of the House with no opposition and now heads to the Senate for consideration.