Senate passes legislation to help stop exploitation of seniors and the disabled

Senate lawmakers are clamping down on those who financially exploit senior citizens and citizens with disabilities. 

Senate Bill 69 would provide tougher penalties for those who prey upon our most vulnerable populations and also make it easier to identify those with a history of this criminal activity. 

The bill calls for changes to the Criminal Code to help prosecute individuals who exploit seniors. The legislation expands the venue for the offense of “financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability,” to make it easier to prosecute perpetrators who live in a different state or facility than the victim. 

The bill also makes “theft by deception from a person with a disability” a Class 2 felony, which could come with prison time and penalties. In addition, it prohibits sealing the records of certain offenses where someone was convicted of a financial crime against the elderly, along with eliminating the “consent” defense if the defendant knew the elderly or disabled person lacked the capacity to consent. 

The legislation passed out of the Senate on March 27 and is on its way to the House.

Jil Tracy

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