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Sims, Castro join ethics commission in hopes of holding legislators accountable

Published: Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:05 PM

sims 112119CHICAGO—To respond to recent allegations involving Springfield lawmakers and prevent future wrongdoing, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. has been named as the co-chair of a new joint legislative commission that will recommend changes to state ethics laws. Senator Cristina Castro has also been appointed to the commission.

“The last several months have seen very troubling developments and the people of Illinois expect us to be and do better,” Sims said. “For the people to have faith in their government we must hold ourselves to the highest of standards, and when public officials do wrong, they should face the consequences. Those are the beliefs that will guide me as I serve on this commission.”

 

Castro named to joint ethics commission

Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 04:08 PM

castro 060219SPRINGFIELD – Just days after passing a resolution through the Senate creating it, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) was named to the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform by Senate President John J. Cullerton.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Castro said. “It’s time to get started.”

The commission was established by House Joint Resolution 93, which Castro sponsored during the second week of veto session. The commission will consist of members appointed by the four legislative leaders, the governor, the attorney general and the secretary of state, and will review various state ethics laws and make recommendations to the General Assembly.

“This commission will lay the groundwork for ethics reform in Illinois,” Castro said. “When we see allegations like the ones in recent months, they call into question the integrity of our Democracy. To act quickly to restore that trust, I sponsored the legislation that created this commission and I am proud to serve on it.”

State Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) was also named to the commission.

Patrick Joyce joins the Illinois Senate

Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 03:42 PM

joyce 111219 2Springfield - The Senate welcomes its newest member last week: Patrick Joyce from Essex. Joyce was sworn into office Friday Nov. 8, at Kankakee Community College.

Joyce replaces Toi Hutchinson, who resigned to become Governor JB Pritzker’s cannabis czar, as state senator for the 40th Legislative District.

“It is an honor to follow the outstanding Senator Hutchinson. I would like to thank her for the excellent job she has done for Kankakee and the South Suburbs,” Joyce said. 

 

Martwick fights for ethics reforms in Springfield

Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 01:13 PM

martwick 111819SPRINGFIELD – Moving quickly to enact ethics reforms in Springfield, State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) lent his support to two measures that will help increase lobbying transparency and create an ethics commission that will lay the groundwork for comprehensive ethics reform.

“Open and honest government are the pillars of Democracy,” Martwick said. “These initiatives will move our state in a positive direction to help change the culture, close loopholes and create clear guidelines for putting an end to the political games corrupt politicians play at the expense of taxpayers.”

Martwick co-sponsored Senate Bill 1639, which takes aim at the practice of state lawmakers lobbying local units of government. The bipartisan measure would require:

  • state lobbyists to disclose any units of local government they also lobby,
  • state lobbyists to disclose any elected or appointed offices they hold,
  • lobbying firms that contract out other lobbyists to disclose who is lobbying for each business or other client,
  • the Secretary of State’s Office to improve the lobbyist database, integrating these new provisions and making the entire system easier to search and navigate.

House Joint Resolution 93 creates a 16-member ethics commission to scrutinize the state’s ethics laws and make meaningful suggestions for legislation to improve our standards.

“Public service should benefit the public, not enrich those of us who serve,” Martwick said. “I urge legislative leaders to appoint members as soon as possible. The sooner we receive the report, the quicker the legislature can act to help restore the public’s trust in Springfield.”

The commission’s report is due before the end of next spring’s legislative session, so the legislature can vote on the recommendations before they adjourn session in May.

“I’m committed to working in the best interest of the people of our district to help guarantee government is transparent at every level,” Martwick said.

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