Chesney Criticizes Democrats’ “Half-Hearted Ethics Punt”

State Representative Andrew Chesney criticized Democrat legislators for only making a “half-hearted ethics punt” during the Fall Veto Session.

“There is so much low-hanging fruit on reform that the tree is about to fall over,” Representative Chesney retorted at the news that Democrats will punt on ethics by pacing out a taskforce while corruption reports continue to occupy daily headlines in Illinois media.  “To not take up the substantive measures proposed by Republicans and to allow some of these practices to continue one minute more really put the truth to the lie of concerns over corruption by Illinois democrat lawmakers.”

“Their Democrat colleagues have been caught allegedly self-dealing and with their hands in the cookie jar and their colleagues respond by saying, let’s study the issue,” Chesney continued.  “Then the Commission to study this is stacked with Democrats instead of equal representation.  The lack of self-awareness is simply unbelievable!”

Among the ethics reform efforts pushed by lawmakers during Fall Veto Session that were not taken up are:

House Bill 3954 that will revise statement of economic interests 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.

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 would 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.