Rep. Demmer Responds to Gov. Pritzker’s State of the State Address, Urges Speaker Madigan to Allow Votes on Ethics Reform, Fair Maps

Springfield – Moments ago, Governor J.B. Pritzker gave his second State of the State Address. State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) appreciated the governor’s support for several ethics reform ideas proposed by House Republicans.

“Without a doubt, corruption is the most pressing issue facing Illinois,” said Rep. Demmer. “I was pleased to hear the governor support several House Republican ethics reform proposals in concept, such as legislation I’ve proposed to ban lawmakers from working as paid lobbyists. These are common-sense proposals that can be enacted immediately so we can crack down on corruption and put the people back of in charge of state government.”

In his remarks, Governor Pritzker stated his support for several ethics reforms, including ending the practice of lawmakers serving as paid lobbyists while in office, increasing disclosure of conflicts of interest, and banning lawmakers from immediately turning around to work as paid lobbyists upon leaving public office. House Republicans have already introduced legislation on each of those topics:

  • House Bill 3947 bans lawmakers from performing paid lobbying work with local government units. Currently, members of the General Assembly are prohibited from lobbying the State of Illinois, but not local government units
  • House Bill 3954 revises statements of economic interest to increase disclosure requirements similar to the information required for judicial statement of economic interest forms
  • House Bill 165 & House Bill 879 ban lawmakers from serving as a paid, registered lobbyist within a period of two years and one year, respectively, upon the end of a member’s time in office

There has been broad, bipartisan support for new ethics reforms in light of ongoing federal investigations into corruption. Similarly, a broad, bipartisan group of lawmakers has continued their calls to pass redistricting reform, yet Democratic leaders, including Speaker Madigan, have blocked those reforms from being called for a vote.

“Republicans and Democrats in both the Illinois House and Senate have called for new, tough ethics rules and critical reforms like fair maps,” Rep. Demmer continued. “Unfortunately, House Democratic leadership is still silent on these important reforms. I urge Speaker Madigan to allow votes in the House on these reforms as soon as possible.”