* Wednesday press release…
Governor JB Pritzker signed ethics reform legislation today and appointed four members to the newly formed Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform.
“The people of Illinois deserve a state government they can trust, and that means we need to put stronger ethical safeguards in place, prioritize transparency and demand more accountability from public servants,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “While we took important steps in November to tighten ethics requirements and improve transparency, it’s critical to take additional action to end the unconscionable self-enrichment and corruption that has been uncovered. I expect this commission to deliberate swiftly and report their recommendations with the greatest possible urgency.”
Senate Bill 1639 strengthens the detail of information required on statements of economic interest, increases lobbyist disclosure requirements – including whether they are elected officials anywhere in Illinois, whether they are registered lobbyists in any unit of local government and whether they subcontract – and requires the Secretary of State’s office to create a publicly accessible and searchable database combining registered lobbyist disclosures, contributions by registered lobbyists and statements of economic interest.
Created by HJR 93, the joint commission will review and make recommendations to change state ethics laws, examine best practices from other state and local governments, and seek expert and public input on improving ethics in Illinois state government.
Comprised of 16 members from Illinois’ executive and legislative branches, members of the joint commission are prohibited from lobbying Illinois state government during their service on the commission or at any time during the last five years.
* Emphasis added because of this appointment…
Steven A. Andersson serves as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Andersson has been a licensed attorney for more almost three decades. He is a partner at the law firms of Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi and Andersson, P.C. and the Elder Law Center, P.C. He is admitted to practice law at all Illinois courts, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Andersson was also the state representative for Illinois’ 65th legislative district from 2015 to 2019 where he served as Republican floor leader in 2018. During the 99th General Assembly, Andersson was a leader of the Republican coalition that joined with the Democratic caucus to end the longest state budget impasse in U.S. history. He has also been a strident defender of the rights of all people, including being the chief co-sponsor for the ERA, a two-time sponsor of the Equal Pay Act and chief co-sponsor of the LGBTQ curriculum bill. Prior to joining the Illinois House of Representatives, Andersson served his community as a trustee and treasurer on the Geneva Library District Board for approximately 5 years, including serving 2 years as treasurer. Andersson is a past president of the Kane County Bar Association. He is also a member of the Kane County Bar Foundation; Illinois Bar Association; American Bar Association; National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; and served on the governing board of the Aurora Family Counseling Service and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Um, he’s a good guy for sure, but Andersson was a registered lobbyist until June 28th of this year.
*** UPDATE *** From the Pritzker administration…
Steve Andersson is a dedicated public servant and the administration appreciates his willingness to serve. However, given the requirements of the resolution, we will be submitting a different appointee.
That was fast.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…
Christine Radogno will serve on the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform. Radogno is the former Senate Minority Leader, the first female leader of a political party in the Illinois Legislature. She served as a Republican member of the Illinois Senate, representing a Legislative District in Cook, DuPage, and Will Counties from 1997 to 2017. She also serves as a co-chair of the Governor’s Pension Consolidation Feasibility Task Force. Prior to serving in the state senate, Radogno served for eight years as a Village Trustee in LaGrange. Radogno received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in social work from Loyola University in Chicago. She was employed in the field of mental health before entering politics.