Illinois sex offender law could change due to industry outcry

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Concerns from the nursing home industry could result in a change to an Illinois law that protects nursing home residents from sex offenders.

Under the proposed change to the Vulnerable Adults Protection Act, residents would not be subject to background checks unless they confess to past crimes on a questionnaire. Also, the proposed rule would remove a requirement that bans registered sex offenders from sharing bedrooms with other residents. Background checks would still be mandatory for all new nursing home residents.

The nursing home law was passed last summer. But an oversight panel of 12 lawmakers ordered the health department to rethink certain aspects of the law as a result of the nursing home industry's concerns. The industry objected to the law because of cost. The background checks would cost about $10 per person.

A vote on the proposed rules will take place Jan. 18.