Did you know EdGlenToday.com is free for you thanks to our awesome advertisers? We noticed you're using an ad block software. Help us spread the word and give our sponsors some exposure by disabling your ad blocking service for Riverbender.com.
dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Gov. J.B. Pritkzer on Tuesday laid out some of his legislative priorities for next year, including tighter ethics rules for elected officials.
After signing a bill on workforce diversity, Pritzker was asked his priorities for the 2020 legislative session that starts in late January. The governor said work was needed on pensions, expanding early childhood education, criminal justice reform, and reducing the price of healthcare, child care and education.
“In addition to creating jobs for competition, for labor, so that we’re lifting up their wages while we’re lowering the day-to-day costs, their kitchen table challenges,” Pritzker said.
The Illinois legislature has been marred by indictments of lawmakers, office raids by federal authorities, at least one wire-wearing state senator and other allegations of unethical behavior involving legislators and lobbyists.
The Chicago Tribune recently reported several people interviewed by federal investigators were asked about about long-time serving House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and his political operations. The newspaper also reported emails show a longtime Madigan ally who was a lobbyist for the energy sector arranged questionable payments for a former Madigan aide who was fired amid sexual harassment allegations.
Pritzker was asked Tuesday if he thinks federal investigators are focusing on Madigan.
“I don’t know where those investigations are going,” Pritzker said. “I am very troubled, frankly, by the misdeeds, by the corruption.”
The governor said ethics reforms would be a legislative priority for next year.
“In the spring session, we’ll certainly be advancing [ethics legislation], not just through the ethics commission, but the ideas of good legislators … and my own office,” he said.
Pritzker said Springfield must work for the people.
“Really truly working for the people that they represent and not for the special interest and not for people who are trying to corrupt the system and not certainly for themselves and for their own financial aggrandizement,” Pritzker said.
Republicans have called for a special session to vote on bills to prohibit lawmakers from being lobbyists and other ethics rules, but the governor said a task force should come up with ideas first.
Madigan previously said he was not a target of anything. Regardless, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have asking Madigan to explain the payments to the former aide.