SPRINGFIELD – Today, Governor J.B. Pritzker gave the State of the State Address laying out his priorities for the upcoming legislative session. State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) appreciated the governor’s support for ethics reform legislation proposed by House Republicans but called on the Governor to stand by his commitment to pass Fair Maps.
“The number one issue facing our state is the culture of corruption in state government. While it should not have taken indictments in both chambers of the Capitol to bring the need for ethics reform to the forefront, I am glad the Governor joined House Republicans in our call for ethics reform to be a top priority this upcoming legislative session. I hope that Governor Pritzker will push those in his party, including Speaker Madigan, to call these important reforms for a vote.”
In his remarks, Governor Pritzker stated his support for several ethics reforms ideas, including ending the practice of lawmakers serving as paid lobbyists while in office, increasing disclosure of conflicts of interest, and banning lawmakers from immediately working as paid lobbyists after leaving public office. Rep. Bourne was already co-sponsoring legislation that address these 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
- House Bill 3997 bans lawmakers from serving as paid lobbyists within a period of one year upon the end of their time in office
Bourne, noted one glaring omission in the Governor’s speech, “However, the Governor was silent in his State of the State Address on the issue of Fair Maps – something he has previously promised to support. With the redistricting process just around the corner, now is the time to take politics out of our mapmaking process. An unfair map is at the core of the corruption in the legislature. It allows for unaccountable politicians to remain in office and strips away power from voters. If the Governor is serious about ending the culture of corruption in Springfield, ending the unfair mapmaking process should be the first step. I am disappointed he did not take the opportunity in his State of the State Address to support this important reform. Illinois cannot afford another decade under an unfair legislative map.”
Rep. Bourne is co-sponsoring HJRCA 15 which establishes a redistricting commission and allows for a fair redistricting process that removes the influence of political parties.