murphy 060121SPRINGFIELD – To increase transparency at all levels of government and ensure elected officials are held accountable for their actions, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) championed a measure to overhaul ethics laws in Illinois.

“Illinoisans deserve to be able to trust their government again,” Murphy said. “These long-overdue changes can help restore transparency and accountability to our state government, and begin to build back the public’s confidence.”

The legislative package includes numerous provisions to strengthen ethics laws surrounding economic interest disclosure, lobbying, campaign finance and compensation, including:

  1. Prohibiting elected officials from lobbying other units of government for entities that lobby them;
  2. Creating a statewide lobbyist database that requires those lobbying state, county, municipal or township governments to be registered and disclosed;
  3. Barring elected officials in the General Assembly and officers in the executive branch from lobbying for firms registered to lobby the legislative or executive branches;
  4. Forbidding local elected officials from lobbying for firms registered to lobby their own unit of government;
  5. Establishing a six-month cooling-off period for executive branch elected officials and legislators becoming lobbyists;
  6. Closing the Consultant Loophole by requiring individuals who may not directly communicate with officials and staff, but who help develop strategies to influence executive or legislative officials or staff to register with the database;
  7. Banning in-person or virtual fundraisers anywhere in the state on a session day or the day before a legislative session day;
  8. Prohibiting salaried appointees who are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate from serving as officers for political committees;
  9. Authorizing the Executive and Legislative Inspectors General to initiate investigations independently, without the advance approval of their respective ethics commissions;
  10. Enacting a clearer, more streamlined Statement of Economic Interest disclosure system; and
  11. Pro-rating the salaries of General Assembly members who leave office prior to the end of their term.

“Government officials should serve the people—not their own financial interests,” Murphy said. “This legislation is a good first step, but I will continue pushing for reform to bring us closer to the ideals Illinois was founded on.”

Senate Bill 539 passed the Senate with unanimous support and now awaits the governor’s signature to become law.