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Illinois House Republicans Look At Ethics Reform After Recent Scandal

Dan Brady speaks
House Republicans
State Rep. Dan Brady speaks this week in Springfield. Brady is a chief co-sponsor of House Bill 3947 that will ban lawmakers from performing paid lobbying work with local government units while they are in office.

House Republicans have put an ethics reform package on the table in Springfield.

State Rep. Dan Brady of Normal is a chief co-sponsor. He said the minority party move is to tell the Democratic party what the GOP wants to talk about.

“I expect some type of resolution,” Brady said, “of what type of legislation we’re going to have a vote on on the House floor. Not sending it committee to be watered down and put away but something that comes straight to the House floor and does so within the next couple days while we’re here in veto session.”

Democratic Gov. J.B Pritzker has also called for some of the same changes Republicans say they want.

Brady said he believes substantive change can happen yet this week.

“Some of these bills have been out there in the past,” Brady said. “They’ve been fine-tuned, maybe changed a little, but if some of them were adopted some time ago we might not find ourselves in the situations we’ve found ourselves in lately.”

Brady’s package includes increased economic-disclosure reporting by lawmakers, their families, and lobbyists, and a ban on lawmakers lobbying for other units of government. Other legislation includes:

  • HJRCA 36 that will require a special election to fill General Assembly vacancies through the same laws governing party primaries. This will prevent political powerbrokers from picking preferred candidates for the vacancies.
  • House Resolution 588 that will allow a chief co-sponsor of any bill with five co-sponsors from each party to call it for an up-or-down vote in a substantive committee.
  • House Bill 3955 that will create mandatory and publicly available documentation of General Assembly communications with any state agency regarding contracts.

Brady notes some of the bills have been introduced in the past, but didn’t go anywhere in the absence of scandal like the present federal investigation into lobbying activity and a bribery charge against a lawmaker.
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