From State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:
Rep. Allen Skillicorn wants special session to stop the culture of corruption in Springfield
Crystal Lake, IL – State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake) joined several of his colleagues in calling for a special session to end the corruption paralyzing state government.
“How can we deal with the state’s pension debt, property tax relief and the other challenges facing our state with more and more legislators being indicted?” Skillicorn said.
“We must address the culture of corruption and take these indictments and arrests seriously. We should not treat it as just another day in Illinois. We need a special session to vote on meaningful ethics reforms.”
The Illinois House of Representatives is not scheduled to convene until January 28, 2020.
The call for a special session comes in the wake of recent federal indictments of legislators.
Rep. Luis Arroyo was arrested on Oct. 25, 2019 on a federal bribery charge. Arroyo allegedly offered a State Senator a bribe of $2,500 per month in exchange for support for video gambling sweepstakes games legislation, which would benefit one of Arroyo’s lobbying clients.
The State Senator in question was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and was wearing a wire at the time the alleged bribe occurred.
In addition, the FBI raided the home and offices of Senator Martin Sandoval’s (D-Chicago).
“How many arrests, FBI raids and legislative resignations have to happen before the legislature takes action?” Skillicorn said.
“We need to show we are serious about stopping corruption in
Springfield. We need a special session to pass meaningful reforms and we need to put an end to the ‘Pay to Play’ culture we have in Illinois.”
Skillicorn said some of the reforms he supports would include a prohibition on legislators working as lobbyists similar to the rules applied to sitting aldermen in the Chicago City Council and a waiting period on when legislators can lobby the General Assembly.
llinois is one of only seven states with no restrictions on when legislators can register as state government lobbyists once they leave the General Assembly.
“We should not pass reforms just for the sake of passing reforms,” Skillicorn said.
“We need to take action that addresses the problems facing Illinois. There is a reason the vast majority of states require some sort of waiting period before former legislators can begin lobbying after their time in the legislature is over.
“We need similar reforms here in Illinois.”
Other reforms that should be considered are:
House Bill 3954 revising statement of economic interests to include more details similar to the information required for judicial statement of economic interest forms. This forces full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and provides greater transparency for members of the General Assembly.
House Bill 3947 banning lawmakers from performing paid lobbying work with local government units while they are in office.
HJRCA 36 requiring a special election to fill General Assembly vacancies through the same laws governing our party primaries. This will prevent political powerbrokers from picking their preferred candidates for the vacancies.
House Resolution 588 allowing a Chief Co-Sponsor of any bill with five co-sponsors from each party to call it for an up or down vote in a substantive committee.
House Bill 3955 creating mandatory and publicly available documentation of General Assembly communications with any state agency regarding contracts.
“There are plenty of good ideas worth discussing,” Skillicorn said. “So, let’s have that discussion.
“Let’s come to Springfield and debate these ideas in a special session and give the people of Illinois assurance that their government is not corrupt.”