News from Senator Peter Roskam Senate Republican Whip
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For Immediate Release

Date:  June 17, 2005/bc

Senate Week in Review: June 13 – 17, 2005

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Protecting society’s aged and disabled is the aim of several pieces of legislation signed into law this week, according to Senator Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton). Also approved were measures targeting the rising crime of identity theft.

House Bill 1430 (Public Act 94-0026) requires nursing home employees who become aware of another employee’s theft of a resident’s property to immediately report the crime to the facility’s administrator. The law also requires the administrator to then report the crime to the resident’s guardian, the Department of Public Health and local law enforcement.

The measure is in response to cases in which nursing home employees are fired, but not reported to police, for stealing from residents. Currently, nursing home employees and administrators aren’t required to report thefts committed against their residents.

Another bill signed into law was HB 1315 (P.A. 94-0025), which no longer makes it a requirement for disabled voters who request assistance in the voting booth to tell election officials whether or not their disability is permanent. Currently, disabled voters are required to disclose that information to election officials before they are able to receive assistance.

Helping incapacitated individuals exercise their right to vote was also the aim of HB 203 (P.A. 94-0018), which allows voters who have been admitted to a nursing home or rehabilitation center within five days of an election to cast an absentee ballot. This change will allow more people who want to vote, but are physically unable to do so, to cast a ballot.

Also approved this week was SB 2062 (P.A. 94-0031), a measure which expands the number of citizen members to the Older Adult Services Advisory Committee. The committee was created to advise the Departments of Aging, Public Aid, and Public Health on senior-related issues, and the delivery of services to older adults.

In other news, several measures were signed this week cracking down on identity theft, a crime that affects millions of consumers nationwide. SB 1799 (P.A. 94-0041) requires the Illinois Department of Revenue to provide notification whenever it is discovered that two individuals are using the same Social Security number. Currently, state government isn’t required to do anything when it finds two or more people using the same Social Security number.

HB 2696 (P.A. 94-0037), makes it unlawful for a business to deny credit or reduce the credit limit of a consumer who has been a victim of identity theft. HB 2697 (P.A. 94-0038) prohibits anyone from secretly photographing personal information during a financial transaction. HB 1633 (P.A. 94-0036) requires state and private entities to disclose security breaches to individuals whose personal information is kept by the entity. HB 2699 (P.A. 94-0039) increases the penalties for identity theft and aggravated identity theft by one class higher than the current law.

Other measures signed into law this week include: