McHenry, IL – Illinois citizens deserve better than the culture of corruption in Springfield that has resulted in lawmaker resignations, arrests, indictments, and investigations. That’s why State Sen. Craig Wilcox is asking citizens who are fed-up to sign a petition demanding anti-corruption reform.
“The citizens of Illinois have had their fill of corruption, but unfortunately little if any action has been taken to address it. That’s why I’m sponsoring a petition drive so people can unite as one big voice and demand real reform,” said Wilcox (R-McHenry).
Wilcox is encouraging residents of the 32nd Senate District to sign the petition posted on his legislative website at http://www.senatorwilcox.com/sign-the-petition.
“Over the past year or so, there have been a number of legislators who have faced charges leading to resignations, indictments and criminal investigations, said Wilcox. “Ethical lapses and corruption in government undermine confidence in government, and can have huge negative costs to our state economy.”
A 2019 study by the University of Illinois-Chicago ranked Illinois as the third-most corrupt state. That same year, the Gies College of Business at the University of Chicago-Champaign/Urbana outlined the devastating cost to businesses forced to conduct business in a climate of corruption. Meanwhile, a third 2019 report by the Illinois Policy Institute estimated corruption costs Illinois’ economy $550 million a year.
“Bribery, ghost pay-rolling, and tax evasion are just a few of the serious charges leveled against members of the Illinois Legislature over the past year or so. Meanwhile, another legislator is being investigated for what could be the largest bribery scheme in state government history,” said Wilcox. “We are long-past the time for reform. The people of Illinois deserve more respect. They want honesty and integrity from their government.”
In addition to the petition drive, Sen. Wilcox is cosponsoring a specific set of reforms, which were introduced in the Senate last month.
The seven-bill package of legislation includes measures to enhance investigations:
- Senate Bill 4012: Allows the Attorney General to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate, indict and prosecute bribery and misconduct by members of the General Assembly.
- Senate Bill 4013: Provides state’s attorneys with wiretap authority.
- Senate Bill 4014: Grants the Legislative Inspector General the ability to investigate members of the General Assembly without first receiving approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission, and changes the composition of the Legislative Ethics Commission to make them all members of the general public rather than legislators.
Four additional proposals would toughen ethics rules helping ensure legislators serve the public’s interest and not their own:
- Senate Bill 4015: Bans legislators from lobbying other branches of state government or units of local government for compensation.
- Senate Bill 4016: Creates a revolving door legislator-to-lobbyist prohibition for one year after leaving office, or until the end of the current term, whichever is longer.
- Senate Bill 4017: Prohibits a legislator from leaving office and continuing to use their campaign fund to support lobbying activities. Also prevents an appointee to a board or commission that is confirmed by the Senate from fundraising for or donating from their campaign committee while serving as an appointed public official.
- Senate Bill 4018: Updates the Statement of Economic Interests to enhance the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.