By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD – If you have been following the news out of the Capitol at all, you know that “ethics” is the word of the moment.
State Rep. Allen Skillicorn (D-East Dundee), one of five Illinois House Republicans calling for a special session this month on ethics, says the advances made during the fall veto session were pretty weak.
“Gov. (JB) Pritzker is on the record,” Skillicorn told a Capitol news conference Wednesday, “saying that this is not acceptable and we need to pass reforms. A task force is not a reform.”
State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) says there’s enough time to do this, but the majority Democrats lack urgency.
“There is going to be a cloud over everything we do. Sure, we are close to (the next day of session, Jan. 28), and we are open to doing this at any time, if they wanted to do it in regular session.
“We spend a lot of time in Springfield doing nothing,” Wilhour added.
The task force enacted during veto session does not even meet until after the primary election in March.
Recent headlines have included a state lawmaker being indicted around the start of fall veto session, another lawmaker quitting after his office and home were raided, and numerous investigations of people close to House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
Skillicorn says Madigan is conflicted because of his work as a lawyer whose specialty is reducing his clients’ property taxes. Skillicorn did also criticize Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), who works as a “sales agent” for a video gambling concern.
The group of five praised some Democrats who are trying to make strides on ethics but did not answer questions as to whether they invited any of them to appear at Wednesday’s announcement.
Dave Dahl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org