Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Illinois: Senator Steve Stadelman's Bill to Prevent Guardian Abuse Receives National Attention
Senate Bill 1051 amends the Illinois Probation Act of 1975 by emphasizing that judges consider the welfare of the dependent adult when appointing a guardian. The bill also requires the inclusion of contact information for physicians providing evaluations, reports or opinions on a person's mental or physical disability for the purpose of naming a legal guardian.
"The legislation now specifically states 'best interest and well-being' of the dependent adult shall be the court's main concern in selection of the guardian," said Stadelman, D-Rockford "The goal is to help prevent guardianship from being used in a convenience or retaliatory manner."
Stadelman worked with Sylvia Rudek, director of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse, to pass the legislation, which both houses of the Illinois General Assembly approved unanimously.
Rudek, who lives in Mount Prospect, Illinois, was subsequently named by Money Magazine to its "50 Heroes: 50 States" list for her efforts on SB 1051 and other reforms.
"SB 1051 provides clear language along with protections for the elderly and disabled adults of Illinois who are under guardianship," Rudek said. "Senator Stadelman is to be commended for reaching across the aisle and working with Rep. David Harris to gain bipartisan support. NASGA looks forward to working with Senator Stadelman in the future to further protect Illinois seniors and infirm adults."
Stadleman Bill to Prevent Guardian Abuse Receives National Attention
NASGA Members in Legislative Action
Representative David Harris, who sponsored Senator Stadelman's bill in the House, gave NASGA the following statement:
"As the House sponsor of Senate Bill 1051, I was delighted to see that the Governor signed the bill into law. I was glad to work with state Senator Stadelman to get this legislation enacted, and I compliment him on his advocacy on the issue.
It is important to keep promoting bills that protect against guardianship abuse. I expect to introduce several pieces of legislation on the issue of guardianship abuse when the General Assembly begins its new session in January of next year."
NASGA very much appreciates both Senator Stadelman and Representative Harris for their individual commitments to guardianship abuse reform and for working together on SB 1051 which will provide better protection of the elderly and disabled citizens of Illinois. Sylvia Rudek looks forward to working with both of them again in the next session!