Rep. Hammond Responds to Gov. Pritzker’s State of the State Address, Calls for Democratic Leaders to Do More to End Corruption

Springfield – Moments ago, Governor J.B. Pritzker gave his second State of the State Address. State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) appreciated the governor’s support for several ethics reform ideas proposed by House Republicans.

“I’m glad that Governor Pritzker announced his support for several ethics reform ideas proposed by House Republicans,” said Rep. Hammond. “The people of Illinois deserve lawmakers who are held to the highest ethical standards, and we should all appreciate that the governor is taking the issue of corruption seriously. The final roadblock to enacting these reforms is getting House Democratic leadership, including Speaker Madigan, to allow these bills for a vote. We will not be able to strengthen our state’s ethics laws until the speaker stops blocking this legislation from a vote.”

In his remarks, Governor Pritzker stated his support for several ethics reforms, including ending the practice of lawmakers serving as paid lobbyists while in office, increasing disclosure of conflicts of interest, and banning lawmakers from immediately turning around to work as paid lobbyists upon leaving public office. House Republicans have already introduced legislation on each of those topics:

  • House Bill 3947 bans lawmakers from performing paid lobbying work with local government units
  • House Bill 3954 revises statements of economic interest to increase disclosure requirements similar to the information required for judicial statement of economic interest forms
  • House Bill 165 & House Bill 879 ban lawmakers from serving as a paid, registered lobbyist within a period of two years and one year, respectively, upon the end of a member’s time in office

There has been broad, bipartisan support for new ethics reforms in light of ongoing federal investigations into corruption. Similarly, a broad, bipartisan group of lawmakers has continued their calls to pass redistricting reform, yet Democratic leaders, including Speaker Madigan, have blocked those reforms from being called for a vote.

“Other than expanding ethics rules for lawmakers, the most important reform we can enact to end the culture of corruption in Springfield is to remove the redistricting process from the hands of politicians,” Rep. Hammond continued. “Fair maps can ensure that our elections are competitive and that legislative district boundaries aren’t drawn to maximize any one political party’s power in government. As a supporter of fair maps, I was disappointed the governor did not talk about that issue today, but I hope he reiterates his support for fair maps before the end of session in May. The people of Illinois should not have to wait another decade to see redistricting reform.”