Pritzker Signs Ethics Reform Bills, GOP Says They Don’t Do Enough

By Benjamin Cox on December 6, 2019 at 8:26am

Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Beecher City, addresses the media Wednesday during a news conference at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Wilhour and four other House Republicans called for a special session to address ethics proposals. Also pictured, from left to right, are Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, and Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki)

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1639 yesterday requiring more information on statements of economic interest that disclose incomes of elected officials and state employees. Lobbyist disclosure requirements have also been updated to include whether or not elected officials are paid lobbyists in the state. The bill will also require the Secretary of State to set up a searchable database of the disclosures. It’s a part of the ethics reforms that were passed by the General Assembly in the November veto session.

A handful of House Republicans held a press conference yesterday while the governor was signing the bills saying the bills were week and did not do enough to curtail the state’s ongoing ethics problems. Pritzker denied the 5 GOP lawmakers’ request for a special session of the Illinois General Assembly to address the issues saying that the ethics task force set up by Senate Bill 1639 will address them further in the spring in order to get all of the bills correct in language and address all of the issues. Pritzker says he expects the task force to deliver recommendations quickly to address the nagging issues that have plagued the state after federal indictments of lllinois lawmakers have piled up since the beginning of 2019.