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State

New law targets elderly, disabled

CHICAGO (AP) – Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s signed a new law to better protect elderly Illinois residents and adults with disabilities.

Quinn signed the legislation on Monday to create an adult protective services unit within the state Department on Aging. It will be responsible for investigating cases of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older people and adults with disabilities.

The law also requires special training for caretakers and establishes a team to investigate suspicious deaths.

Quinn appointed a special investigator to propose reforms after the Belleville News Democrat reported that the state failed to investigate the deaths of 53 disabled adults who lived at home, despite calls to a state hotline alleging abuse or neglect.

The legislation sponsored by State Rep. Greg Harris and State Sen. Bill Haine passed overwhelmingly.

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