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June 2, 2015

ATTORNEY GENERAL APPLAUDS LEGISLATIVE PASSAGE OF MEASURES TO SUPPORT WOMEN, CONSUMERS, SENIORS

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today highlighted legislation initiated by her office that will be heading to the governor’s desk for final approval. The measures build on Madigan’s efforts to protect women, consumers and Illinois’ most vulnerable residents.

The Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 821, House Bill 2462 and Senate Bill 1833, all of which the Attorney General initiated this spring. The measures will be sent to the governor for final approval.

“These bills will position Illinois as a leader on many fronts,” Attorney General Madigan said. “With final approval, these new laws will ensure that Illinois residents are afforded greater protections, whether they are students attending college, families looking after their loved ones in nursing home facilities, or if they are among the millions of Americans whose personal information has been compromised in a data breach.”

Improving Response to Campus Sexual Violence
Attorney Madigan spearheaded House Bill 821 to address sexual violence on college campuses. Madigan convened summits around the state to discuss the legislation, which will set standards to prevent and respond to sexual violence at higher education institutions throughout Illinois.

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act will ensure that Illinois colleges and universities take steps to develop clear, comprehensive campus sexual violence policies. Some of the requirements include notifying student survivors about their rights; providing a confidential advisor to survivors to help them understand their options to report the crime and seek medical and legal assistance; adopting a fair, balanced process for adjudicating allegations of sexual violence; and training students and campus employees to prevent sexual violence and improve awareness. The legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) and Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields), passed the House and Senate almost unanimously.

Greater Protections for Nursing Home Residents
Attorney General Madigan initiated House Bill 2462 in response to complaints from nursing home residents and families concerned for their relatives’ care and security. Madigan’s proposal would allow residents of nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities or their family members to purchase and install video or audio monitoring devices in their rooms. Some provisions include requiring resident and roommate consent before devices can be installed, making residents or their families responsible for purchasing and maintaining the devices, and prohibiting facilities from retaliating against residents who use the devices.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) passed both chambers of the General Assembly with strong legislative support. If enacted, Illinois would become the fourth state to explicitly allow electronic monitoring devices to be installed in resident rooms in nursing homes.

Upgrading Illinoisans’ Personal Data Security Protections
Madigan also drafted Senate Bill 1833 to strengthen the state’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). Originally passed in 2005 at Attorney General Madigan’s direction, PIPA made Illinois among the first states in the country to require entities that suffer a data breach to notify Illinois residents if the breached information included residents’ drivers’ license numbers, Social Security numbers, or financial account information. Since the law’s enactment, the extent of sensitive information collected about consumers has greatly expanded, and the threat of data breaches has increased significantly, necessitating the need to update and strengthen the state’s law.

Madigan’s bill, sponsored by Sen. Dan Biss (D-Evanston) and Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago), will expand the type of information that triggers a breach notification to consumers, including medical information outside of federal privacy laws, biometric data, contact information when combined with identifying information, and login credentials for online accounts. The bill also requires entities holding sensitive information to take “reasonable” steps to protect the information, to post a privacy policy describing their data collection practices, and to notify the Attorney General’s office when breaches occur. Entities will also have to notify the Attorney General’s Office in the event of a breach of geolocation information or consumer marketing information. Madigan has said her office would create a website that lists every data breach that affects Illinois to increase awareness among residents.

For more information about the Attorney General’s programs and services to Illinois constituents, please visit www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.

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