SPRINGFIELD–Two pieces of legislation were pushed through the General Assembly today to address the ongoing ethics issues plaguing the statehouse. The legislation includes HJR93, which would create the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform and SB1639 which modifies the lobbyist registration and disclosure requirements and requires the Secretary of State to create a database for lobbyist disclosures, contributions, and statements of economic interests.
State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) released the following statement in response:
“Today was the last day of legislative veto session. Instead of passing meaningful and productive ethics reform measures that would remedy the existing loopholes in our current laws, Democrats filed legislation in the middle of the night that will do little to nothing to address any of the real problems uncovered by a federal investigation. Public corruption is serious, but the sham reform efforts presented today by the Democrats are not.
I am doubtful that these ethics bills passed today will make any real change in our chamber. We need significant change—that has been made blatantly obvious by arrests and indictments. I am currently co-sponsoring ten good pieces of legislation that would make necessary changes to our laws and solve actual problems. None of these bills have been given a chance of consideration. The process behind this “ethics reform” effort is not the progress we need or our taxpayers deserve.”
The House of Representatives adjourned today, ending legislative session for 2019.