ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: NEW YEAR BRINGS NEW LAWS
Nursing home cameras; protections for sexual assault survivors, crime victims and workers effective Jan. 1
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today highlighted new laws initiated by her office that will go into effect Jan. 1. In 2016 Illinois will become the fourth state to explicitly allow electronic monitoring devices to be installed in resident rooms in nursing home facilities.
House Bill 2462 sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, and Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan stemmed from complaints Madigan's office received from nursing home residents and families who were concerned for their relatives' care and safety. The new law allows residents of nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities or their family members to purchase and install video or audio monitoring devices in their rooms.
"The new year will bring new peace of mind for nursing home residents and their families, because for the first time, they will have the option of installing recording devices to ensure their loved ones are receiving appropriate care," Madigan said.
Madigan noted that video and audio monitoring can be used as an added tool to help resolve disputes about suspected abuse or negligence. In addition, the video and audio monitoring allowed by this law can be helpful to nursing homes by alerting them to employees who may be involved in abusive or unacceptable behavior, and allowing them to take disciplinary measures.
After the General Assembly passed House Bill 2462 with overwhelming support, it was signed in August. The new law, which is Public Act 99-0430, will:
Attorney General Madigan highlighted additional laws that go into effect on Jan. 1:
Cracking Down on Unlicensed Employment Agencies
Protecting Victims of Crime
The Office of the Attorney General, the Court of Claims and the Office of the Secretary of State jointly administer the Crime Victims Compensation Program (CVCP), which provides eligible victims of violent crime with financial assistance for certain expenses connected to the crime that are incurred after insurance, Medicaid or other benefits have paid. After receiving an application, the Attorney General's Office will provide written confirmation that a compensation claim has been filed, which the victim can provide to vendors.
Protecting Survivors of Sexual Assault
Sponsored by Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, and Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, the law prevents survivors of sexual assaults from being re-traumatized by expressly prohibiting hospitals, emergency room physicians and other providers of sexual assault services from charging the survivor or sending the survivor a bill. Hospitals must also provide a written notice to survivors when they are discharged, explaining that they may not be billed and providing information regarding who survivors should contact if they receive a bill. Under the new law, fines may be imposed on providers who bill or refer a survivor to a collection agency.