Watchdogs want change from lawmakers

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Statehouse watchdogs got their day to tell lawmakers what needs to change.

The past three members to hold the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) role at the Capitol presented their ideas for reform Thursday. Lawmakers listened and questioned suggestions for hours. However, some of those suggestions seemed to fall flat with those in power.

The sitting LIG and LIG before her each submitted a list of changes for lawmakers to consider when looking into ethics. They each asked for changes to the Legislative Ethics Commission.

That is a group made up of eight lawmakers who have to grant the inspector generals approval before they open an investigation or issue a subpoena. Of the many suggestions the LIGs suggested, former LIG Julie Porter says that change needs to happen now. “One thing I think is very critical is that the legislative inspector general cannot be beholden to a legislative ethics commission that is staffed with legislators,” said Porter. “That just does not work. It hasn’t been working and it won’t work in the future. If only one thing would change, I very much hope that that does.” The LIGs are requesting at least one citizen be put on the commission to hold the lawmakers accountable and act as a tiebreaker in the event their votes are split.

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