Giannoulias Calls for Stronger State Ethics Laws

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Days following the sentencing of Mike Madigan’s former chief of staff, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced a series of ethics reforms that would strengthen enforcement and require more transparency and disclosure regarding the financial dealings of lobbyists. The measures – contained in House Bill 4591 – come amid the ongoing federal corruption probe of state government that has led to the criminal indictments and convictions of several Illinois politicians and insiders. As Secretary of State, Giannoulias’ office maintains lobbyist registrations and statements of economic interest filed by public officials. Aside from a nominal fine, no enforcement mechanism currently exists for the Secretary of State if lobbyists fail to comply with current reporting requirements. HB 4591 would enable the Secretary of State’s office to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and the authority to suspend or revoke a lobbyist’s registration. The bill also requires lobbyists to provide more client information by way of compensation and would give the Secretary of State’s office the authority to suspend or revoke a lobbyist’s registration for violating the act or if convicted of certain crimes.

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