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Illinois Officials Review State Ethics Laws

Rotunda of Illinois State Capitol
Illinois State Capitol Rotunda

A group of Illinois officials met Monday to begin a review of the state’s ethics laws for lobbyists and elected office holders.

The meeting comes in the wake of a remarkable year for corruption allegations, even by Illinois standards.

Several state and local lawmakers, lobbyists, and municipalities have either been charged with crimes, had their offices searched, or otherwise come under scrutiny of federal investigators.

In response, last month the General Assembly approved the 16-member Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform.

After Monday’s organizational meeting, Democratic Senator and commission co-chair Elgie Sims issued a statement saying current laws “fall short in ensuring … officials are held accountable for their actions.”

Among the practices getting attention this year are state lawmakers having side jobs lobbying local governments. Sims himself is registered to lobby the city of Chicago.

A final report from the commission is due by the end of March.

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