Seizing on a federal public corruption probe that has embroiled Democrats from City Hall to the state Capitol, Illinois House Republicans on Thursday proposed a series of changes to state ethics rules they say would provide greater transparency and help prevent future abuses of power. […]
The proposals from House Republicans include requiring lawmakers to provide more detailed information about their financial interests on annual statements of economic interest; instituting special elections to fill vacant seats in the House and Senate; loosening the control House committee chairs have over the fate of bills; and barring lawmakers and close family members from working as lobbyists at the local level.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs called the measures “common-sense, straightforward government ethics reforms that are long overdue.”
“If the Democrats are serious about at least trying to restore some confidence in the public, we shouldn’t have to wait till next January, next spring,” Durkin said.
* CBS 2…
Three Joliet Township workers said they were forced to do landscaping work on [Township Supervisor Daniel Vera’s] home. He didn’t answer questions about making the public employees work on his private property
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Wednesday requested an independent review of a county agency tasked with helping get vacant homes back on the market after the head of the agency admitted a sale involving a building owned by a top aide to 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin never should have been allowed.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the insider deal involving the Cook County Land Bank Authority and a building that Austin’s chief of staff Chester Wilson Jr. owned at 103rd Street and Corliss Avenue.
* Hannah Meisel at the Daily Line…
A company linked to the arrest and resignation of former State Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) on corruption charges for allegedly bribing a state senator for his support on legalizing “sweepstakes machines” sued west suburban Addison last month after the town passed an ordinance banning the machines.
Addison’s village board of trustees moved to ban sweepstakes machines in an ordinance passed by the body in June, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court by Collage LLC on Oct. 2. […]
The lawsuit notes the sweepstakes machines are regulated by the Illinois Department of Revenue, and that each of the six machines within city limits had already paid the state “to operate the machines and paid a licensing fee for each machine.”
The sweepstakes machines’ existing licenses and the fees paid for them establish a contract that Addison cannot preempt, according to the lawsuit.
The company also argues the ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, because it only targets digital sweepstakes machines.
* Ald. Austin has faith feds won’t find anything in probe, but doesn’t want to talk about it