Severin Supports “First Step” Ethics Reforms, Calls for Action on Tougher Package

Springfield.…State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) says despite small movements in the right direction, he left the 2019 Veto Session feeling unsatisfied on the issue of ethics reform. A sponsor of several measures aimed at cleaning up government corruption, Severin says he voted in favor of two bills brought forward at the eleventh-hour by House Democrat leaders on Thursday.

“The Democrats are claiming they have done some special thing by passing some small-time ethics bills today,” Severin said. “That’s not exactly what happened. I supported these bills today because that is all Speaker Madigan is going to allow for now. But, I am joining my constituents and the people of the State of Illinois in demanding more. A task force here, a small change to paperwork there…that’s not going to cut it with me.”

Severin has for weeks been signing on to sponsor legislation aimed at corrupt self-dealing and enhancing government transparency.

“One particular issue that has me fired up is that we’ve got state legislators serving as lobbyists to the city of Chicago. How can that be legal?” Severin asked. “The Democrat Senate President is a registered lobbyist for the city of Chicago, we’ve seen multiple raids and arrests, and the Democrats in the House are playing footsie with changing ethics laws. I had to support what they put on the board today because it is at least a small first step, but I’m sponsoring a tough package of bills that will root out corruption and end the self-dealing.”

House Republicans have introduced more than two dozen bills to address revolving door laws, statements of economic interests, how General Assembly vacancies should be filled, and an outright ban on legislators serving as municipal lobbyists.

“The package I’ve signed on to sponsor is tough, and I’m sure that’s why the Chicago Democrats are so afraid of it,” Severin said. “I’m not going to stop sounding the alarm on the ethics issue. People are being arrested, people are going to jail, and it is because we don’t have tough laws in this state that provide adequate deterrence.”