October 21, 2005

IL House Dems like reform... a little.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois House Democrats floated a proposal Friday that tightens state ethics and purchasing laws but leaves out the sweeping changes backed by other party leaders.

The plan crafted by House Speaker Michael Madigan's staff ties together reforms for state and local pension systems, state purchasing, ethics rules for state employees and naming rights at state facilities.

The State Government Administration Committee discussed the proposal but took no vote. House leaders hope it will serve as a framework for action in the Legislature's fall veto session, which begins Tuesday.

"Clearly, I think these are important issues that need to stand on their own merit," said state Rep. Gary Hannig, D-Litchfield. "We need to move forward with them, and they're an effort to try to raise the standards here in Illinois."

The proposal does not include Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposal to sharply limit the size and source of donations that politicians accept. It also omits Comptroller Dan Hynes' plan to restrict donations by people who do business with the state.

Madigan wouldn't comment after the hearing. His spokesman said there were too many questions surrounding those ideas.
It's unfortunate that the House Dems won't endorse measures which would have a direct effect on the corrupting influence of big money influence, but rather seek to preserve the status quo and nibble around the edges of true reform.

Any insiders who can provide some insight into this issue?

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