Ethics reform to combat government corruption
The citizens of Illinois have continually been subject to news reports of corrupt state officials, lawmakers, and local politicians who have betrayed the public’s trust, often times putting their special interests above their constituents. One of the most recent cases of public corruption involved the state’s most powerful Democrats, who were caught in the largest bribery scheme in Illinois history.
Senate Republicans are continuing their commitment to ensure an ethical and corruption-free state government. By empowering officials to investigate and prosecute corruption and strengthening the state’s lobbying laws, Republicans are standing up against the abuse of power that has wrecked Illinois for too long. You can read our detailed plan below.
SENATE BILL 3636
STATEWIDE GRAND JURY FOR PUBLIC CORRUPTION
Allows the Attorney General to use a statewide grand jury to investigate, indict and prosecute bribery, official misconduct, solicitation misconduct, public contractor misconduct or public contracting violations under state public corruption crimes.
WIRETAP AUTHORITY FOR STATE’S ATTORNEYS
Amends State RICO law to give wiretap authority to state’s attorneys to investigate crimes of public corruption. At least thirty-three states, and the Territory of the United States Virgin Island have enacted statutes based, to greater or lesser part, upon the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Under current Illinois Law, prosecutors cannot even obtain judicial approval for wiretap in corruption cases, because corruption-related offenses are not included in the wiretap statute.
LEGISLATOR REVOLVING DOOR
Strengthens the state’s revolving-door protections. Prohibits legislators from accepting lobbying positions for one year after leaving office or until the end of the current term if a legislator resigned before the end of the term, whichever is longer. This aims to ensure that while legislators are in office, they are focused on serving the public, rather than securing lucrative lobbying contracts.
LEGISLATOR LOBBYING BAN
Prohibits 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. Also 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.
SENATE BILL 3030
LEGISLATIVE INSPECTOR GENERAL INDEPENDENCE/
LEGISLATIVE ETHICS COMMISSION MAKE-UP
Gives the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) the ability to issue subpoenas without prior consent of the Legislative Ethics Commission. Changes the composition of the Legislative Ethics Commission to mandate the inclusion of members of the general public.
TRANSPARENT LEGISLATIVE ETHICS COMMISSION MEETINGS
Requires Legislative Ethics Commission meetings to be open to the public and meetings must be publicly posted.
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