Springfield, IL… Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) released the following statement on Governor JB Pritzker’s hypocrisy on ethics reform and the price that is being paid by his inaction:
“The Governor’s recent comments on ethics reform are nothing more than an attempt to paper over his poor record on public corruption as he seeks re-election. The truth of the matter is, he has sat silently by as Democratic legislators failed to even discuss, let alone allow a vote on many anti-corruption measures that have been filed in the General Assembly this legislative session. The hypocrisy is rich. If he really believes that work needs to be done on new ethics legislation, where has he been?”
Senate Republicans have proposed several measures to address the systemic corruption issue within the Democratic Party, yet the Senate Ethics Committee did not meet a single time this year. Additionally, not a single piece of ethics legislation was heard in the entire General Assembly this session.
“The Governor wants to talk big on integrity and ethics within our government, but his record has shown little desire to put action where his mouth is. His silence and failure to lead on this issue continues to enable the corruption in his own party that is so toxic to us all.”
Following a watered-down ethics package that passed in 2021, and after Democrats promised “their work wasn’t done,” Senate Republicans reintroduced their preferred measures in Senate Bill 3636, Senate Bill 3030, and SJRCA 16 this spring legislative session, only to be met with silence and inaction.
Senate Bill 3636 would:
- Prohibit a General Assembly member, their spouse, or any immediate family member from lobbying as long as the individual is a member of the General Assembly.
- Prohibits a legislator during their term of office from negotiating employment with a lobbying firm (such as a job after their term of office), if that firm lobbies the General Assembly.
- Strengthens the revolving door for General Assembly members to prohibit them from lobbying for 12 months after leaving office (currently 6 months with a major loophole allowing GA members to lobby a day after their term ends).
- Limit a lobbyist’s political activity so that anyone who is a lobbyist cannot be an officer for a candidate’s political committee or be a candidate supported by a political action committee.
- Expand the authority of a statewide grand jury to investigate and indict offenses involving the corruption of a public official, to include theft, fraud, extortion, or a violation of theofficial misconduct and public contracts articles of the criminal code of 2012.
- Expand Illinois’ R.I.C.O. law to include bribery, official misconduct, solicitation of misconduct, and legislative misconduct.
Senate Bill 3030 would:
- Give the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) the ability to issue subpoenas without prior consent of the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC).
- Require Legislative Ethics Commission meetings to be open to the public and meetings must be publicly posted.
SJRCA 16 would:
- Amend the Illinois Constitution to allow voters to recall more elected officials, including members of the General Assembly and local government officials.
“There is a high societal cost to corruption when people don’t have faith in their government. That cost is a weakening of democracy, where no longer are elected officials looking out for the public’s best interests, but their own instead.”
In the last several years, four members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have been indicted and/or convicted on federal corruption charges.