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Archive for May 29th, 2010

Madigan praises Legislature for passing reform measure to crack down on nursing home neglect

Posted by Admin On May - 29 - 2010 5 COMMENTS
 Attorney General’s Legislation would create criminal penalties for negligent
nursing home operators
 
Springfield, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan applauded the General Assembly for passing a reform measure that will provide greater protections for nursing home residents and make it easier to detect fraud by nursing home owners. The bill, sponsored by Senator Jacqueline Collins and Representative Harry Osterman, now goes to the Governor for his signature.
 
“Nursing homes should provide safe, caring environments for residents and peace of mind for their family members,” Madigan said. “This new measure strengthens the law to enable prosecutors to crack down on negligent nursing home operators who fail to protect our most vulnerable adults.”
 
The legislation, SB2863, expands the definition of the crime of criminal neglect in nursing homes by making it a Class 4 felony for any nursing home employee or owner to engage in conduct that puts a resident’s health at risk or exacerbates a pre-existing condition. In the event that neglectful care results in a nursing home resident’s death, the penalty would increase to a Class 3 felony.
 
“This important legislation ensures that nursing home residents are served by a reliable staff that is cognizant of the fact that their first priority is to provide care and assistance in a professional manner,” said Senator Collins.  
 
To make it easier for law enforcement to investigate potential fraud by nursing home owners, the bill also requires Medicaid-funded nursing home owners to disclose any interest they have in vendors that do business with their facility. Under the bill, a nursing home owner who fails to make this disclosure could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Subsequent violations would subject the owner to a potential Class 4 felony.
 
“Clearly violence among patients, gross neglect and mismanagement of nursing homes has been a major problem. These reforms will help ensure that we provide a safe and healthy environment for some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Representative Osterman. 

Madigan’s office crafted the legislation based on findings made during “Operation Guardian,” in which Attorney General’s office investigators and local law enforcement officials conduct checks of nursing homes that include unannounced visits to review safety and compliance issues. In addition to the compliance checks, Madigan’s office also conducts unannounced warrant sweeps in nursing homes to ensure that dangerous fugitives are not living among vulnerable adults.  

This bill was only one component of Madigan’s work in this legislative session to protect nursing home residents. Attorney General Madigan worked with the Nursing Home Task Force to enhance the background check requirements for nursing home residents to ensure greater protections for vulnerable adults. The legislation also creates a pilot project targeted at increased screening for mixed population facilities in Cook and Will counties.
 
Madigan has long worked to protect vulnerable residents and hold nursing homes more accountable. Over the last year, the Attorney General has repeatedly called state agencies to step up their enforcement efforts. In February, for instance, Madigan sent a letter to the directors of the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois Department on Aging and the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, urging the agencies to join her office’s “Operation Guardian” to protect Illinois’ vulnerable adults living in nursing homes. And last fall, Madigan singled out IDPH for failing to regulate nursing home facilities that continually flout state law.
 
In addition to these recent efforts, in 2005 following her work to close Emerald Park Nursing Home, Madigan worked to require background checks and criminal history analyses to identify nursing home residents that might pose a threat to others. The Attorney General also passed a law, known as the Resident’s Right to Know Act that now requires nursing homes to complete an annual Consumer Choice Information Report about facilities’ standard of care, service and security issues to provide better information to residents and their families.

Human Rights Campaign endorses Giannoulias for Senate

Posted by Admin On May - 29 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 Washington, D.C.  – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – announced the endorsement of Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias running for the U.S. Senate.  Giannoulias has a stellar record on LGBT equality in contrast to his Republican opponent Rep. Mark Kirk who voted against repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law last night in the U.S. House.

“Alexi Giannoulias is the progressive leader Illinois needs,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “He will be a strong advocate in the U.S. Senate to ensure that all of his constituents are accepted and welcomed as part of the American family,”

“When my children look back at our generation, I want them to be proud that we stood up for the values that make America so great: fairness, equality, and opportunity for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Giannoulias.  “As the next Senator from the great State of Illinois, I will lead the fight for equality – for marriage equality, for an end to DOMA, for employment non-discrimination, and for immigration reform that treats same-sex couples fairly.”

Giannoulias is a strident supporter of LGBT equality – including supporting marriage equality, repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and supporting an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  Although his opponent Rep. Mark Kirk has voted favorably on some LGBT issues in the past, last night he cast a vote to retain the military’s failed ban on openly lesbian and gay service members.

“While many lawmakers stood on the right side of history in voting to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Rep. Kirk voted to maintain discrimination that hurts our national security. Thankfully voters have better choice in Alexi Giannoulias who will always stand up for equality,” added Solmonese.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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