Text Size
Login
config

Illinois now has tougher penalties on financial abuse of elders, disabled

elderlywoman 052119PLAINFIELD –There will now be higher criminal penalties for felonious scams that target the elderly and disabled, thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed Senate Bill 69, which would institute tougher penalties on Class 2 felony offenses against an elderly person or a person with a disability. It was signed into law last week. 

“There are scammers preying on our seniors,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “To discourage this awful epidemic, we must put regulations in place to protect the financial well-being of Illinois’ seniors and people with disabilities.”

This new law expands the Class 2 felony offense of theft by deception over $5,000 to include offenses committed against a person with a disability.

It also clarifies that consent cannot be used as a defense in a case of financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with a disability if the accused knew or should have known that the victim lacked the ability to consent.

Nearly 5 million older Americans are financially exploited. While scammers are often to blame, more than half of cases involve exploitation by a family member. A 2014 study by Mark Lachs, co-chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital found that almost 60 percent of cases involve a perpetrator who is a family member.

Lachs also reported that elder abuse victims—including those who suffer financial exploitation—die at a rate three times faster than those who haven’t been abused.

“This new law will give our law enforcement the additional means to act against those attempting to exploit the elderly in Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “These restrictions will help make scammers think twice before attempting to manipulate seniors and people with disabilities.”

Senate Bill 69 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. 

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure to cover hearing aid costs for seniors now law

hearingaids 081919PLAINFIELD – Illinois seniors may soon be better able to cover the cost of hearing aids, due to a new law championed by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure, House Bill 3503, requires insurance companies to offer optional coverage for hearing instruments and any related services for all individuals when they are prescribed by a hearing care professional. It was signed into law on Friday.

Bertino-Tarrant ends statute of limitations on mutilation

jbt 041118 2PLAINFIELD – There is a new law in Illinois to help combat the alarming rise of female genital mutilation in the nation thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) championed House Bill 3498, which removes the statute of limitations for the prosecution for female genital mutilation (also known as FGM) if the victim is under 18 years of at the time of the offense. The measure was signed into law last week.

“Survivors of FGM are often too young to report this horrendous crime,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The emotional and health repercussions of it are lifelong. This new law will give them time and assure them they will have the opportunity to seek justice when they are ready.”

Under previous law, the statute of limitations for FGM is three years, which is the standard for a felony offense. Long thought to be a foreign problem, Bertino-Tarrant stressed that FGM is happening in Illinois. It is estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 women and girls have been cut or are at risk for being cut.

The age at which girls undergo FGM ranges from seven days old to young adulthood; most commonly, it is performed between the ages of two and fifteen.

“This painful and dangerous procedure is often performed at an extremely young age,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will allow survivors to come forward in their own time and help them receive the support they need and deserve.”

According to CNN in 2017, currently only 25 states in the nation have laws that make FGM a crime. The law was supported by the Illinois National Organization for Women.

Representative Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) is the lead sponsor in the House.

The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Workplace discrimination protections now law in Illinois

jbt 041118 2PLAINFIELD Women across Illinois will have stronger remedies to fight sexual harassment and discrimination in work places, thanks to a measure supported by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) championed Senate Bill 75, which clarifies the ethics investigation process, including making the process more transparent and giving additional rights to victims of harassment and discrimination who file ethics complaints. The measure was signed into law today.

Senate Bill 75 will require hotels and casinos to provide employees who work in isolated spaces with panic buttons for use if they are sexually harassed or assaulted, and local governments will now be required to report and provide an independent review of allegations of sexual harassment made against local elected officials and makes harassment against contract employees illegal.

“Illinois’ employment laws will now match the needs of workers from the 21st century,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As a state, it is our responsibility to put forth policies that promote inclusion and safety.”

The bipartisan measure passed the legislature with unanimous support.

“This monumental legislation is helping shift the culture in the workplace,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to institute new laws that strive to make Illinois a better place to work, live and grow.”

The ethics provisions in Senate Bill 75 are effective immediately, the panic button provision takes effect July 1, and every other section takes effect Jan. 1.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

bertino-tarrant 150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education (Chairperson); Insurance; Labor; Licensed Activities (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.

Associated Representatives:
Mark Batinick
Natalie A. Manley