SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Lakesia Collins is leading a measure to combat retaliatory efforts from nursing homes on patients.

“Patients in nursing homes should not have to worry about retaliation for wanting better living conditions for themselves,” said Collins (D-Chicago). “We are making an effort to expand the definition of retaliation to fit actions that are interfering with residents’ quality of life and are in response to protected activities.”

Senate Bill 3559 would expand the definition of “retaliatory action” to include retaliation against residents of nursing homes in the form of reduced access to services, neglect, selective restrictions and other adverse actions that interfere with the quality of life and are related to their involvement in a protected activity.

Protected activities include complaining about or disclosing acts or policies that residents reasonably believe are in violation of law, rule or regulation. This includes providing information to a public body conducting an investigation, assisting with a proceeding, seeking assistance for themselves or others to transition to another setting outside of the current nursing home, making a request to the facility related to their care or becoming a member of a resident union.

“Residents of nursing homes should not be fearful for their life by looking for solutions to their current problems,” said Collins. “This legislation would protect and support so many seniors across Illinois that are fearful of the risks to their living situation and are left to struggle in silence.”

Senate Bill 3559 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and heads to the Senate floor.