Macomb – In light of news reports that a member of the Illinois House of Representatives was arrested by Federal agents for attempted bribery of a public official, State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) is co-sponsoring legislation that would ban lawmakers from performing paid lobbying work with local government units while in office.
“It is a significant conflict of interest for sitting lawmakers to perform paid lobbying work while in office,” said Rep. Hammond. “It’s not possible for lawmaker-lobbyists to serve their constituents and their lobbying clients at the same time. Current law allows lawmakers to push legislation they can benefit from financially. That’s wrong. I hope my Democratic colleagues in the majority will support this bill so we can end conflicts of interest and clean up state government. Now is the time to act.”
The legislation, House Bill 3947 (HB 3947), would ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses, and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work with local government units. Currently, members of the Illinois General Assembly – state representatives and state senators – are prohibited from lobbying the State of Illinois, but are not prohibited from lobbying local government units, such as a counties or municipalities.
On Friday, October 25, Democratic State Representative Luis Arroyo of Chicago was arrested by Federal agents for attempted bribery of a public official. Arroyo works as a registered lobbyist with the City of Chicago in addition to his duties as a state representative. According to the United States Department of Justice, Arroyo attempted to bribe an unnamed state senator $2,500 per month in exchange for supporting legislation that would benefit one of Arroyo’s lobbying clients. If convicted of the corruption charges, Arroyo faces up to 10 years in prison.
If HB 3947 were law prior to Rep. Arroyo’s attempted bribery scheme, he would have been precluded from performing paid lobbying work on behalf of his client while serving in office.