Illinois House Republicans are proposing a series of ethics reforms they would like to see passed during next weeks veto session.
House GOP leader Jim Durkin of Western springs, along with members of the Republican caucus announced the proposal today to address what they called unaceptable practices brought fourth by ongoing federal investigations.
Durkin says they have a package five bills that will address many of the problems that have come to light in recent weeks.
“We are here because we believe there is a crisis of confidence, which is at a new all time low. We don’t need to wait until next spring, there are investigations of mammoth proportion going on, in all levels of government in Illinois.”
House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 0036 would require special elections for vacancies in the General Assembly through the same laws that govern party primaries.
House Bill 3947 would ban lawmakers and their families from performing paid lobbying work with local government units. Currently members of the General Assembly are are prohibited from lobbying the State of Illinois, but are not prohibited from lobbying local government such as counties or municipalities.
House Bill 3954 would revise the statement of economic interests to include more details in an effort to force full disclosure of of potential conflicts of interest.
Other bills call for mandatory and publicly available documentation of General Assembly communications, and allow a chief co-sponsor of any bill to call for an up or down committee vote so long as there are five co-sponsors from each party.
Durkin called on legislative leaders and the Governor to support the measures, stating that the reform package common sense and a direct response to wrongdoings learned of from current federal investigations.
Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon says that they want the ethics reform package passed quickly.
“It’s very important that we take both short term action demurring this veto session, to show the people of Illinois that we are serious about ethics reforms, as well as continuing the longer term discussion about the importance of changing the culture in Springfield, that has led to so many of these ethical lapses to begin with.”
The General Assembly is scheduled to begin the second week of veto session next Tuesday, November 12th.