Illinois law against senior citizen exploitation signed
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[August 12, 2008]
SPRINGFIELD -- On Monday, when
senior citizens were being honored at the Illinois State Fair, Gov.
Rod. R. Blagojevich signed a new law intended to improve protections
for seniors from mistreatment and harm in Illinois. House Bill 4506,
sponsored by state Rep. Milton Patterson, D-Chicago, and state Sen.
Rickey Hendon, D-Chicago, redefines the classification of a person
with a disability to allow for increased protection of certain
senior citizens from financial exploitation.
"The senior citizens of
our state deserve to have the greatest possible protections. With
this law, we are taking another step to ensure that our seniors are
safe and can have peace of mind," Blagojevich said.
exploitation of a senior citizen, especially one who is disabled, is
a despicable crime," said Patterson. "Those who engage in such
exploitation deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the
law. I applaud the governor for signing this bill."
"Senior citizens in Illinois, our elders and mentors, ought to
have our greatest respect," said Hendon. "This new law is designed
so that no senior slips through the cracks."
The new law amends the definition of a "person with a disability"
with respect to an elderly person with a disability. It erases the
requirement that a physical or mental impairment be "permanent" to
now include a person who suffers from such an impairment that has
resulted from a disease, injury, functional disorder or congenital
Last year, the governor signed
Public Act 95-0569, which increased penalties for financial
exploitation of a senior citizen.
House Bill 4506 takes effect on
Jan. 1, 2009.
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Blagojevich has signed numerous pieces of legislation protecting
against abuse and neglect of people with disabilities, protecting
seniors from elder abuse and increasing public awareness. Through
legislative action, the governor has:
Created a 24-hour
Elder Abuse Hotline, 1-866-800-1409, where seniors and their
loved ones can report elder abuse or exploitation and quickly
Missing and Endangered Senior Alert System.
to assist the state in its efforts to increase awareness of
elder abuse and available
programs and services provided by the state for victims.
institutions to help in the state's campaign to prevent
person who has been convicted of financial exploitation, abuse
or neglect from receiving any inheritance from the senior he or
Increased criminal charges and
penalties for battering a person age 60 or better.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]