In response to the verdict of the “ComEd Four” trial in Chicago today, State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, is urging colleagues in the Illinois General Assembly to take action this spring on comprehensive ethics reform:
“Public confidence in government is embarrassingly but unsurprisingly low, and the lack of urgency on the part of Democratic legislators to pass meaningful ethics reform does nothing but erode it further. It doesn’t say much about the General Assembly as a body that it takes the spotlight of yet another corruption trial to prompt even the smallest baby steps toward acknowledging something needs to be done. With the trial of former Speaker Mike Madigan looming next April, now is the perfect time to finally prove to Illinois families that we take corruption seriously and will not tolerate it any longer.”
Specifically, Rep. Sosnowski and House Republicans support legislation that would ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses, and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work with local government units. Currently, members of the Illinois General Assembly – state representatives and state senators – are prohibited from lobbying the State of Illinois, but are not prohibited from lobbying local government units, such as a counties or municipalities.
Rep. Sosnowski and House Republicans also support legislation to empower the Legislative Inspector General with subpoena power for any investigation into allegations of wrongdoing without having to first get approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission, which is comprised of 8 legislators from the Illinois House and Senate.