On Wednesday, Oct. 30, State Senator Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles), along with several of his Senate colleagues, signed onto legislation aimed at creating an honest and ethical state government.
Senate Bill 2297 would allow the Legislator Inspector General to independently initiate investigations into complaints against legislators and issue subpoenas at her own discretion, without first receiving approval or permission from legislators.
“We currently have a system where lawmakers are policing themselves,” said Sen. DeWitte. “It’s no wonder the public has very little trust in what takes place in Springfield. By taking legislators out of the process, this bill ensures independence in the investigation of claims.”
Currently, except in cases alleging sexual harassment, the Legislator Inspector General (LIG) must first get advance approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC), which is comprised of legislators, before opening an investigation or issuing subpoenas. Additionally, if, during the investigation, the LIG discovers wrongdoing that is beyond the scope of, or unrelated to the initial complaint, they have to go back to the LEC to get approval to investigate further.
“This proposal is a no brainer, and with the recent headlines of federal investigations into state government officials, it should serve as a reminder that Springfield desperately needs ethics reform,” said Sen. DeWitte.