Illinois’ Legislative Inspector General is a watchdog with no teeth

Empower the Legislative Inspector General to do the job

The Office of the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) was created to be independent of the very people it is charged with investigating. Yet, the law was undermined by operating rules requiring the LIG to seek approval from lawmakers to perform basic functions of the office.

CHANGE Illinois Policy Director Ryan Tolley testified before the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform shining a light on the “code of silence” in Springfield. Tolley told the commission people are not coming forward when they witness bad behavior, but “an independent and fully empowered Legislative Inspector General will assure lawmakers and employees that reports of questionable behavior will indeed be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.”

CHANGE Illinois’ recommendations focused on empowering the Legislative Inspector General by giving the office the independent authority to start an investigation, subpoena witnesses, and disclose confirmed reports of wrongdoing without the approval of elected officials. 

CHANGE Illinois’ full testimony and recommendations are available below.