Senate passes legislation to ensure transparency and accountability of elected officials
A bipartisan measure, which would provide the public with easily understandable information regarding an elected official’s financial interests, passed the Illinois Senate unanimously Friday. Senate Bill 1289 provides for greater transparency when dealing with Statements of Economic Interest.
“This legislation, which provides greater transparency and ensures accountability of our elected officials, makes the process of filing a Statement of Economic Interest more clear, and seeks to result in better disclosure of financial interests,” said State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), Chief Co-sponsor of the bill.
SB 1289 revamps the entire Statement of Economic Interest form, and allows statements to be filed electronically with either the Secretary of State or the County Clerk. The electronic filing system will allow ethics officers to review and certify that they have reviewed the statement prior to filing.
“It’s so important that we provide voters with easily understandable information about an elected official’s personal financial interests to ensure they are making decisions that are in the best interest of the public and not for the interest of their own pocketbooks,” said Sen. McConchie. “This bill clears up a confusing system.”
Under current law, elected officials and certain state employees are required to file a Statement of Economic Interest, which provides information to the public about an official’s financial interests to ensure they are not making decisions that are deemed conflicts of interest.
SB 1289 now heads to the Illinois House.