Illinois state Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City)
The list of Republican lawmakers demanding ethics reform in Springfield continues to grow.
Veteran Illinois state Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) recently showed his support for such legislation, which included reintroducing a bill he first filed earlier in the year. House Bill 165 would ban lawmakers from leaving office and immediately going to work as lobbyists, enacting a two-year ban on such moves.
“It seems like such a common-sense idea to me, but the bill was not called for a vote [in the] spring,” Bennett said in a press release. “We need stronger ethics laws in Illinois and my legislation should be part of that process.”
Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago)
In addition, Bennett is now co-sponsoring a House resolution aimed at creating a State Ethics Task Force to address the rising instances of political corruption in Illinois. Another proposal, House Bill 361, would impose fines of as high as $1 million on state lawmakers found to have violated rules of conduct such as bribery, a Class 2 felony. The bill would also implement fines of $50 for failing to complete required annual ethics and sexual-harassment training.
In recent weeks, veteran state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) was forced to step down from office after being arrested on federal bribery charges for allegedly offering a state senator a monthly payoff of $2,500 in exchange for support on a state gambling bill. Just prior to that arrest, longtime state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) was implicated in a kickback scheme that led to him being forced to relinquish his position as Senate Transportation Committee chairman.
Now in his fourth year in Springfield, Bennett serves on the House’s Consumer Protection, State Government Administration, and Transportation, Regulation and Roads committees. His 106th District includes all or parts of Ford, Iroquois, Vermillion, Livingston and Woodford counties.