Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Illinois Representative David Harris Introduces Three Bills in the 2015 Legislative Session

During the 2014 legislative session, Representative David Harris (R, 53rd District), working with NASGA Director Sylvia Rudek, introduced HB5573, a bill aimed to empower and strengthen Power of Attorney and advance directives.

Despite overwhelming support NASGA received in feedback from victims, families, and guardianship stakeholders, sadly HB5573 was stalled in the Rules Committee.

Representative David Harris
Representative Harris’ commitment to protect the elderly and disabled citizens of Illinois was not dissuaded.

This year, Representative Harris, again conferring with Sylvia Rudek, has introduced three bills to the 2015 legislative session:

 HB2504 concerns the length of temporary guardianship and provides that an extension of the temporary guardianship may be granted, if specific conditions are met, for no longer than 90 days from the date of original appointment.

HB2505 provides that a temporary guardian shall have limited powers and duties (instead of “all the powers and duties”) of a guardian of the person or estate which are enumerated by court order.

HB2506 provides that unless a guardian of the person or a disabled adult is specifically authorized by court order, the guardian shall not restrict the personal rights of the ward, including, but not limited to, the right to receive visitors, telephone calls, and personal mail.  Hearings are scheduled to discuss and debate the bills.

NASGA enthusiastically supports Senator Harris’ efforts and very much appreciates his concern and legislative action on behalf of the elderly and disabled of Illinois and victims of unlawful and abusive guardianships.

READ the Full Text of HB2504

READ the Full Text of HB2505

READ the Full Text of HB2506

TRACK All Bills From Representative Harris

See Also:
NASGA on HB5573

NASGA Members in Legislative Action


Finny said...

Illinois has long been in the dark ages, years behind in reform. I am pleased to see the work of Rep. Harris.

Sue Harmon said...

I agree Finny dark ages for sure. And, add to that where is the media and press?

California, Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Washington State, and so many other states have outstanding reporters and news sources who are stepping up to their role to inform, educate and warn their readers and viewers about news they need to know.

Mike said...

I am particularly happy to see a bill addressing isolation. I hope and pray it passes and then the idea spreads to other states. Thank you, Representative Harris.

jerri said...

oh what a pleasant surprise action in our sorry state of illinois just for a moment add up the medicaid money for the wealthy who have their assets hidden in obra special needs accounts stashed for administrative expenses no money for the ward the person who earned their wealth after our long gone adios governor quinn signed that so called smart act a couple years ago changing who in illinois can open obra accounts for the over 65 crowd its not we the people anymore only public and state guardians are allowed to open obra accounts for their wards this is big big big money add it up do the math kudos to any and all lawmakers especially in our sorry state of illinois who are brave enough to take this on thank you mr harris and good luck to you as the stakeholders line up to do all they can to keep business as usual

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Representative Harris. But what about enforcement? The problem isn't the laws in my state of Pennsylvania. The problem is that the crooks make up their own laws.

Sylvia Rudek said...

Hearing Scheduled for Mar 18, 2015

Chairperson: Elaine Nekritz

Vice-Chairperson: Ann Williams

Republican Spokesperson: Ron Sandack

Scheduled Date: Mar 18, 2015 8:00AM

Location: Room D-1 Stratton Building Springfield, IL

Clerk of the House: Timothy D. Mapes

Sylvia Rudek said...

Important changes to our laws related to Guardianship for Disabled Adults

(755 ILCS 5/) Probate Act of 1975.

(755 ILCS 5/Art. XIa heading)

With deep appreciation to my District Representative David Harris and his staff for their dedication, hard work and efforts to better protect the citizens of Illinois.

Tina said...

I remember HB5573. It really made sense and I was shocked that it got sandbagged. Representative Harris has my respect for not giving up.

Christine said...

It's a crying shame that there has to be a law to ensure people their fundamental right to visitors, mail, and phone calls. But, we've seen it over and over. Bad guardians use visitation to retaliate against family. And who suffers most? The ward.

I saw NASGA post something about guardians who isolate should be charged with elder abuse.

That's exactly what it is.

Advocate for the Elderly and Disabled said...

Kudos to Rep. Harris and Sylvia Rudek for their ongoing work to protect the disabled elderly and children in Illinois. Had these proposed laws been in effect over the past 10 years, my loved one would not have been in a public aid facility over the past ten years.

A victim of the Cook County Probate Court, her temporary guardianship lasted 7.5 months, costing over $67,000.00 to her estate in legal fees. The situtation resulted in her family member needing to relinquish guardianship to a court-appointed guardian, as the family member's assets were being depleted by the guardianship process as well.

What happened from there was a nightmare. The court-appointed for-profit guardian used an OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trust to exploit the ward. Despite having VA benefits, Social Security, and financial assets to support a ten year stay at a beautiful private pay facility (which provided many outings into the community), the ward was placed into a Medicaid-funded facility which had no activities or outings.

The ENTIRE estate was used to pay legal fees and guardian fees; this was all approved by Judge Lynne Kawamoto. The ward has not had one outing in the community since the court-appointed guardian was appointed in 2009. Her dementia has progressed much more rapidly, as there is not cognitive stimulation for her disease as well.

PLEASE keep up the fight, Rep. Harris and Sylvia Rudek. We appreciated it more than you will ever know.

Please save other disabled people from being exploited as my loved one was, all because of loopholes in the current laws which the judges, guardians, and lawyers know all to well how to use to their financial advantage.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sylvia and Rep. Harris. Something must be done about the exploitation that occurs in the probate courts in this state. I am SO hoping that your proposed laws make a big difference. We also need honest, open investigations. To all readers out there who have found themselves, or their family members, victimized by the guardianship proceedings in this state, please visit this website. There are directions for reporting unethical judges, lawyers, guardians, nurses, etc. on this website. When you file a report, please ask the agency to include your report with other people's reports against the same group of people. That will allow the feds to have a bigger file of evidence to use against these unscrupulous people. Please visit: www.probateabusemanual.blogspot.com and PLEASE FILE A REPORT TO ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES! Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you NASGA, Sylvia Rudek, and Representative Harris for all of your hard work on making changes to the current guardianship issues in the State of Illinois. In addition to the work being done by NASGA, others in Illinois are working towards reform as well. You can visit other sites to read about these issues and the work being done to promote change. Google NorthShore Live Coopers Corner; this show has been focusing on the issues in the Cook COunty Probate Court. Also go to www.probatesharks.com to see other work that is being done to promote an awareness to this issue. If we all work together, we can make a difference. We also would like to invite mainstream media (newspapers and television stations) to join us in exposing what is occuring to the elderly and disabled children through the probate courts in this state. Thank you.

Cheryl said...

My deepest appreciation to Representative Harris, Sylvia Rudek, and NASGA. So many families are torn apart by a system that is designed to protect. And no one - no one is held accountable for these atrocities. I praise all your efforts and I know in time, Illinois will be a safer state because of your actions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all who are pushing this legislation. Just knowing the guardianship abuse has caught the attention of a legislator is a breath of fresh air. P;ease continue the good work Silvia, NASGA, and Representative Harris.