Springfield, IL ... State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) passed bipartisan legislation through the Illinois House last week to protect senior citizens and other adults from financial abuse and exploitation. SB 1309, which allows state agencies additional ability to look into financial records of persons they serve with state programs in an effort to prevent financial exploitation and investigate alleged abuse more quickly, passed the Illinois House last Wednesday after already clearing the State Senate in April.
“We know that financial exploitation of seniors and adults with disabilities happens too often and we need additional tools to catch it earlier and investigate it more thoroughly. This bill will allow that to happen, and will protect some of the most vulnerable people we represent,” said Rep. Unes in advocating for the passage of the bill. “We also know that this kind of abuse often means additional strain on public support systems, so we hope that by curbing this type of abuse, we can save taxpayer dollars,” continued Rep. Unes.
Robert F. Harris, Cook County Public Guardian and one of the proponents of the bill’s passage, explained the bill’s need: “Senate Bill 1309 gives Public Guardians throughout Illinois the tools to act quickly and protect the elderly and adults with disabilities who are being or at risk of being abused, neglected or financially exploited.”
SB 1309 will now go to Governor Rauner before becoming law. Rep. Unes hopes that the bills unanimous passage in both the House and Senate will help to send a signal to potential abusers that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in Illinois.
For more information on this or any other state issues, contact Rep. Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631.