SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - Following the indictment of former Speaker of the House Michael Madigan Wednesday, Republican representatives spent the final minutes of Friday’s session calling for stronger ethics reforms.
Following remarks made after the announcement Wednesday, two representatives called for stronger ethics reform.
This isn’t the first time they’ve called for ethics reform in the House, there was previously a struggle over the newest legislative inspector general hired last month. The position has often been called a “paper tiger,” including by former LIG Carol Pope, who resigned last year.
Legislation was introduced to give the position more teeth, including subpoena powers, but it died in the Senate.
Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) made several suggestions he believes would improve the ethics of the House, including having legislators disclose their conflicts of interest before voting and having stricter requirements for the legislative ethics commission.
“I think it’s past time that we get serious about real ethics reforms,” Davidsmeyer said.
Speaker Chris Welch on Wednesday said there were concrete reforms that passed last year, and further reforms would focus on conversations with both sides.
Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) went so far as to accuse Democratic leadership of sheltering the former speaker and his tactics, saying they are direct beneficiaries of his corruption.
“Madigan raised the money for your campaigns through the schemes he is now under indictment for,” Caulkins said. “Madigan did all the heavy lifting and made all the decisions.”
Madigan was indicted on 22 counts, including bribery and racketeering.
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