Stephens Pushes for State Ethics Reforms

In response to recent troubling revelations about self-serving actions from state legislators, State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) has signed on to co-sponsor a bipartisan effort to reform state government ethics and restore public trust.

 “Illinoisans deserve a government they can trust and legislators that are working in the best interest of the people and not their own,” Rep. Stephens said. “Illinois is in desperate need of ethics reform, and a task force to comprehensively study the issue is the right step.”

House Joint Resolution 87 would create a nine-member task force charged with identifying areas of concern, reviewing current laws, studying best practices, and proposing additional legislative solutions to ensure Illinois is holding public officials accountable for their actions. It would be composed of a member of the Governor’s staff or the Lt. Governor, along with two legislative members appointed by each of the four caucus leaders. The task force would have ninety days to issue a report recommending legislative changes to Illinois’ ethics policy and law.

“Federal corruption investigations throughout this past year have severely eroded public trust, as they should,” Rep. Stephens continued. “We in the legislature need to hold ourselves and our fellow members accountable and examine how we can improve our governing process to prevent these ethical breaches.”

Earlier this week, Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) became the third state legislator this year to be indicted or implicated in a federal corruption investigation. In just the past few months, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Lake Villa) was indicted on 45 counts of embezzlement and State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero) was revealed to be under investigation in a widespread federal corruption probe that has ensnared a number of local government bodies and businesses.

HJR 87 was filed by State Representative Tony McCombie last week so that it could be considered during the fall Veto Session.