Lawmakers urge colleagues to reform ethics

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)–One group of lawmakers is calling on their colleagues to pass more legislation to keep corruption from happening.

Republican House members along with one Democrat and one Senate Republican held a media conference urging fellow lawmakers to pass a bill that would heighten penalties. The conference was held just before news broke that the leader of the capital appropriations committee is now facing a federal bribery charge.

Lawmakers are asking for this legislation to pass as soon as possible this veto session, saying public trust is at an all time low right now.

The bill would increase fines for making false statements regarding economic interest, failing to complete sexual harassment training and establishes a fine of one million dollars for people caught committing bribery.

The members are also backing a house resolution that would make create a task force where lawmakers would blow the whistle on colleagues they know are engaging in illegal behavior.

“It really is a no brainer. We do task forces all the time to determine problems and find legislative ways to fix those problems. We have task force after task force, what is the harm of looking at the ethics of us? There is no harm in that so I don’t know why anyone would be opposed to this bill,” said Representative Tony McCombie.

The task force would be made up of a member of governor’s staff or lieutenant governor along with four members from each legislative caucus.
While the bill to heighten penalties was introduced earlier this year, the resolution for the task force was just filed on Friday. Lawmakers said if they can’t get this passed, it is a reflection of the body’s acceptance of corruption.

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