Rep. Demmer Proposes Sweeping Ethics Reform Package in Response to Federal Investigations

DIXON — State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon), along with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and other members of the House Republican Caucus, proposed a sweeping ethics reform package this morning to address recently-revealed corrupt behavior of members of the General Assembly that was brought to light through ongoing federal investigations.

“It shouldn’t take a federal investigation to force the General Assembly to clean up corruption,” said Rep. Demmer. “The reform proposals we have introduced are common sense and can be adopted as soon as next week. I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate – Republican and Democrat – to take corruption seriously and pass these reforms when we get back in session.”

The ethics reform package includes:

  • House Bill 3954 will revise statements of economic interest to include more details similar to the information required for judicial statement of economic interest forms. This forces full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and provides greater transparency for members of the General Assembly.
  • HJRCA 36 will require a special election to fill General Assembly vacancies through the same laws governing our party primaries. This will prevent political power-brokers from picking their preferred candidates for the vacancies.
  • House Resolution 588 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 3947 will 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.
  • House Bill 3955 will create mandatory and publicly available documentation of General Assembly communications with any state agency regarding contracts.

These proposed ethics reforms specifically address instances of corrupt behavior engaged in by former State Representative Luis Arroyo and State Senator Martin Sandoval. Aspects of this proposal have already received bipartisan support and can be passed and enacted as soon as next week.

The General Assembly is scheduled to begin the second week of veto session on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.