Illinois lawmakers are considering new disclosure requirements for lobbyists and public officials in response to an ongoing federal public corruption probe that has ensnared politicians from Chicago City Hall to the Capitol in Springfield.
The proposal from Democrats comes on the final day of the General Assembly’s fall veto session, which began in late October as then-state Rep. Luis Arroyo was being charged in federal court with bribing a state senator to support sweepstakes gaming legislation that would have benefited one of Arroyo’s City Hall lobbying clients.
Democratic leaders are proposing a joint House-Senate committee be formed to examine and propose changes to the state’s lobbying and ethics laws. The panel would issue a report by March 31.
“We need to do it in a thoughtful, systematic and comprehensive way," House Democratic leader Greg Harris of Chicago said Thursday at a House committee hearing.
A separate but related measure would strengthen the statements of economic interest state officials are required to file annually, mandating that officials answer all questions and providing examples of how to answer them.
The measure also would require more disclosure by state lobbyists, including making them disclose any unit of local government that they lobby and any elected or appointed office they hold.
House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs, whose caucus has issued repeated calls for overhauling lobbying and ethics laws, said there was no input from the GOP on the proposals Democrats introduced.
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