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|Ethics Reform Still Alive at Capitol
|In addition to the new budget and major construction plan which could come together in the final days of the Illinois General Assembly's session, the lawmakers have not forgotten about ethics and reform.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill to change the way lawmakers are paid. The bill would abolish the Compensation Review Board, subjecting future raises to an actual vote. It would also suspend the cost-of-living increase -- and require four furlough days for legislators -- for the upcoming fiscal year.
The negotiations between Gov. Pat Quinn and House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) over firing staffers appointed by Quinn's two predecessors, the indicted Rod Blagojevich and the imprisoned George Ryan, have trimmed the number of people affected from 3,000 to 750. Madigan says he simply wants Quinn to make the call on whether to retain the "high-level decision-makers" he inherited. Madigan's bill passed the House Executive Committee.
Other bills which passed that committee would shed more light on state purchasing and the inspector general's procedures. Madigan says his bill would have the Executive Ethics Commission appoint -- and the Senate confirm -- chief procurement officers. The idea is to separate that process from the governor's office. Reports from the Office of the Inspector General reports would become public more easily as well.
In the Senate, a proposal is coming together to limit campaign contributions to $5,000 from an individual and $10,000 from a corporation or committee. Those are higher than what has been suggested by the Illinois Reform Commission. It's expected that bill -- which is not finished being written yet -- will be heard in a Senate committee Friday.
S.B. 1333 (firing Ryan-Blagojevich appointees) has passed the House Executive Committee.
S.B. 2090 (compensation changes) has passed the House, 116-0.
S.B. 51 (procurement changes) has passed the House Executive Committee.
S.B. 54 (Inspector General changes) has passed the House Executive Committee.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|05 21 09 by Newsroom
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