DeWitte: Lack of public trust will remain under newly formed partisan ethics commission

The Democrat-controlled Legislature pushed through a partisan measure, House Joint Resolution 93, in the final hour of the fall veto session giving themselves ultimate power in the ethics reform process.

HJR 93 creates the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform, and favors Democrats ten to six in its makeup.

“Republicans have been adamant in calling for ethics reform, so the fact that we are being underrepresented in the newly formed ethics commission is appalling,” said Sen. DeWitte. “Despite our calls for a balanced commission, Democrats have continued to push us aside.”

Sen. DeWitte said this is just the latest scheme by Democrats to keep Republicans away from reforming a clearly broken system.

Over the fall veto session, Senate Republicans introduced several meaningful ethics reform measures, but none of which were given a hearing. Some include:

  • Senate Bill 2297:  Allows the Legislative Inspector General to start an investigation or issue a subpoena without advance approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission, which is an existing commission made up of an equal number of Republican and Democrat legislators.
  • Senate Bill 2302:  Prohibits members of the General Assembly, their spouse or immediate family living with them from lobbying for compensation.
  • Senate Bill 2300:  Prohibits a member of the State Board of Elections from contributing to or being an officer of a state or federal political action committee.

“With the recent scandals regarding several members of the General Assembly, the public has lost complete trust in Springfield, and this latest stunt will only enhance their suspicion,” said Sen. DeWitte. “Illinoisans deserves a real, balanced approach to reforming government ethics, not one that is completely controlled by those who have benefitted from this broken system.”

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