Ethics reform is at the top of the list for many at the state house during this legislative session. 100th District Representative CD Davidsmeyer has a few suggestions on where the Illinois General Assembly should start fixing problems.
“The simple idea that a sitting legislator can also be a paid lobbyist is absolutely ridiculous, do you think their responsibilities lie with the person that pays them as a lobbyist or with their constituents? At the end of the day, it has to be solely with their constituents. It is simple things like that. I don’t mind the recording requirements and things like that, they were talking about additional recording requirements on your statement of economic interest so that constituents understand where, if you have another job, or other investments, how that may effect you, and that might influence your decisions, and those would make sure that constituents understand that.”
On Thursday, all current and former Inspectors General for the state spoke to a joint ethics panel about the needs for more independence to police the General Assembly for wrongdoing while in office. Current Inspector General Carol Pope told the panel that her office cannot really investigate because the Legislative Ethics Commission has the power to kill the LIG’s investigations – a case of what she called the fox guarding the henhouse.
“I ask you, if I have to go to eight legislators, over whom I have jurisdiction to investigate, to ask for permission to open an investigation, how independent am I? I am required by the L.E.C.’s rule, to tell them what the allegations that I am investigating are, and that is not right. My investigations should be confidential.”
There has been no official filing by any lawmakers for proposed ethics changes in Springfield yet. The legislative session began last week.