Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst)
Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) believes the legislation recently passed by the House to create another task force to help stamp out corruption in Springfield is no more than smoke and mirrors by the Democratic Party, multiple members of which are themselves under investigation.
“The culture of corruption in Springfield continues because the majority party in the House looks the other way on glaring ethics loopholes and they stall with commissions and task forces that they hope will placate the public,” Mazzochi said in a press release.
Mazzochi also dismissed the notion that legislators did as much as they could given the time restraints they were under.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
“Considering how many bills I’ve seen rammed through this legislative process, the idea that we didn’t have enough time to deal with ethics reform during this veto session is a total farce,” she said in another press release. “The only thing standing in the way of the reform is the lack of will on the other side of the aisle.”
The debate over ethics reform has gripped the state in the wake of several ongoing federal corruption probes. Just over the last several weeks, veteran state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) was forced to step down from his 3rd District post following his bribery arrest, and state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) was pressured into relinquishing his Senate Transportation Committee chairmanship after being implicated in an ongoing kickback scheme.
“Illinois government has been the poster child for pay-to-play politics for decades,” Mazzochi said. “We’ve had governors go to jail, and our current governor still remains under federal investigation. People are tired of a system where taxpayers don’t count but insiders do.”
Among legislation proposed by Republicans to deal with the issue is House Bill 3947, which would ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses, and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work with local government units.