Springfield, IL-(Effingham Radio)- The Illinois Freedom Caucus is issuing the following statement calling for an ethics investigation into the recent House Floor voting controversy and the Parliamentary action the House leadership took on March 24th in Springfield.

“As Members of the Illinois House of Representatives, it is our duty to serve the people. Our mission is to enact and support legislation that is beneficial for the working families and taxpayers of Illinois. Voters have sent us to Springfield to act in good faith and to conduct business ethically and in accordance with state law. Unfortunately in the late hours of March 24th, that public trust was violated by members and staff of the House Democratic Caucus in the General Assembly.

In typical fashion our government was debating substantive legislation way behind schedule until nearly midnight. During the debate, the Democratic leadership attempted to shut off the opportunity for opposing speakers to discuss legislation. Shortly after this time it became apparent that many members of the Democratic Caucus were absent from the House Floor, and in fact were absent from the Capitol Complex entirely. Yet somehow, they were still voting on legislation.

Representative Dan Caulkins of the Illinois Freedom Caucus raised the issue of the accuracy of votes cast, and he requested a verification of votes cast for the previous bill. A verified roll call means for any ‘YES’ votes to count, legislators had to be in the chamber in order for those votes to count. Initially, his request was denied, but after debate on the verification request, verification was granted.

That verification showed at least four votes were cast on the motion which could not be verified. Those votes were removed, the bill failed to pass, and shortly after the verification, the House adjourned. However, there is no denying that votes were improperly cast for members who were not present to vote, and there were attempts to prevent verification from proceeding in an effort to cover up false votes.

The Democratic majority has power in Springfield, and they are certainly not shy about reminding us of that fact. But it is possible to exercise power without abusing it. We need a more ethical, transparent and accountable government, which is why we are exploring an ethics complaint with the Legislative Inspector General. The abuse of power must come to an end.”

The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Chris Miller (R-Oakland), chairman; Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City), vice-chairman; Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur); Jed Davis (R-Newark) and David Friess (R-Red Bud). The members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus are members of the Illinois General Assembly who are advocating for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government.