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Tom Cullerton supported measure to reform legislative ethics process signed into law

Sen. Tom CullertonVILLA PARK- There will now be stronger protections in place to investigate ethics complains in the state capital, thanks to a new measure supported by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

House Bill 138 makes important changes to the Legislative Ethics Commission and Office of the Legislative Inspector General such as allowing the Legislative Inspector General to investigate claims independently, without first getting approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission. Among other changes, the measure also mandates better defined and transparent reporting of complaints at the Commission and before the Inspector General.

"We should have zero tolerance for sexual harassment,” Cullerton said. “Survivors of sexual harassment and assault rely on extreme levels of bravery and courage in order to come forward. It’s our job to ensure that their complaint is being reviewed in a timely, transparent and orderly manner.”

This new law passed the Senate and House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“The #MeToo Movement is bringing much needed change to rules and culture in workplaces across the country,” Cullerton said. "The time to take action is now. The people of Illinois have spoken. We will not and cannot support a culture that promotes inappropriate behavior."

Other new rules outlined in the law, including but not limited to:

  • Requirements that the Commission shall appoint an Acting Inspector General with 45 days;
    Creates a backstop so that if an extended vacancy occurs in the office of the LIG, the Inspector General for the Auditor General would have jurisdiction over the complaints;
  • Requires a public hearing and opportunity for public input before the adoption of any new commission rules;
  • Allows the Inspector General for the Secretary of State, through the Attorney General, to file complaints with the Executive Ethics Commission regarding lobbyist sexual harassment;
  • Extends statute of limitations for filing a discrimination or sexual harassment claim with the Department of Human Rights from 180 days to 300 days.

House Bill 138 goes into effect immediately.

Sen. Tom Cullerton

tcullerton-hs

23rd Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Labor; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); State Government & Veterans Affairs; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities.

Biography: Born Sept. 20, 1969; studied at the University of Kansas; former village president and trustee of Villa Park; married (wife Stacey), three sons.