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Bush passes measure to reform the legislative ethics investigation process

bush 053118SPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to overhaul the process of investigating ethics complaints at the Capitol advanced out of the Senate today.

“This is about changing the process of how ethics complaints are handled so that we can guarantee that any person who comes forward and files a claim with the legislative inspector general knows that their complaint is being reviewed in an independent, transparent and timely manner,” said Bush, Co-Chair of the Senate Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention Task Force.

“Time’s up in Springfield,” said Bush. “No one should have to experience sexual harassment and discrimination, but if it occurs under the dome, their claims needed to be taken seriously and perpetrators need to be held accountable.”

House Bill 138 makes several changes to the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Legislative Inspector General, including but not limited to:

  • Allow the Legislative Inspector General to investigate claims independently, without first getting approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission   
  • Better defined and transparent reporting of complaints at the Commission and before the Inspector General;
  • Requirements that the Commission shall appoint an Acting Inspector General with 45 days;
  • Creates a backstop so that if an extended vacancy occurs in the office of the LIG, the Inspector General for the Auditor General would have jurisdiction over the complaints;
  • Creates a search committee comprised of former judges and prosecutors who will search for and recommend inspector general candidates to the Ethics Commission;
  • Requires a public hearing and opportunity for public input before the adoption of any new commission rules;
  • Allows the Inspector General for the Secretary of State, through the Attorney General, to file complaints with the Executive Ethics Commission regarding lobbyist sexual harassment;
  • Allows the EEC to suspend the registration of a lobbyist or lobbying entity for which the lobbyist is employed for up to 3 years if the lobbyist violates the sexual harassment prohibition;
  • Extends statute of limitations for filing a discrimination or sexual harassment claim with the Department of Human Rights from 180 days to 300 days.

Sen. Melinda Bush

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31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Sheri Jesiel; Sam Yingling

Committee assignments: Education; Environment and Conservation; Government Reform (Chairperson); Human Services; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Local Government; Revenue.

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).