Lobbying transparency and rules changes needed, CHANGE Illinois says at ethics reform hearing

Lawmakers should be banned from lobbying other governments on behalf of private clients, CHANGE Illinois Policy Director Ryan Tolley told officials serving on a state ethics reform commission Wednesday. 

As pressure from federal corruption investigations grows, the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform met for the second time. CHANGE Illinois’ testimony before commissioners focused on three recommendations to improve lobbying transparency and ethics. CHANGE Illinois supports: (1) a ban on lawmakers lobbying other levels of government, (2) a revolving-door ban on allowing lawmakers to immediately become lobbyists after their term in office, and (3) a disclosure requirement for lobbyists who bundle multiple donations to give to candidates. 

The commission set out to accomplish significant ethics reforms to send to the Illinois General Assembly by March 31st, 2020. We believe we need to continue pressing lawmakers to approve these and other reforms.

CHANGE Illinois’ full testimony and recommendations are available below. The next Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform will be held January 30th at the State Capitol in Springfield. The exact location and time have not been determined, but updates should be posted on the Illinois General Assembly’s website. Illinoisans also can watch live streams of upcoming hearings at that site, too.