Gov. Rod Blagojevich has signed legislation that makes Illinois the first state to require criminal background checks for current and admitted nursing home residents.

“Unfortunately, every state across the nation is struggling with sex offenders and felons living in nursing homes,” said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who pushed for the legislation.
She said the law will help the state prevent rapes, beatings and other abuse, rather than punishing nursing homes afterward with fines and other sanctions.
The law took effect immediately. Nursing home officials agree with the goal but contend the law is an unfunded mandate.