ROCKFORD, Ill. – As part of his commitment to cleaning up corruption in Springfield, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, backed an ethics reform package that will increase transparency and end corrupt practices to ensure that elected officials are working in the best interest of their constituents.
“For far too long, corruption in Springfield has been a major issue that has failed to be properly addressed,” said Vella. “Corruption has eroded the public’s faith in state government and has made it harder to address the issues facing the lives of Illinoisians. This ethics reform package is a good step towards making our state government work for the people, not politicians.”
Vella co-sponsored Senate Bill 539, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. The measure creates a number of restrictions on state elected officials, including creating a 6 month “revolving door” prohibition, prohibiting officials from becoming lobbyists until 6 months after their term ends, makes legislator salary pro-rated, ending the practice of politicians receiving a full-month salary for less than a full-month’s work, and bans political fundraisers on legislative session days. The bill also strengthens the Inspector General’s investigative powers and requires additional transparency from lobbyists.
Vella has been a fierce advocate for ethics reform since entering the General Assembly earlier this year and has backed a number of pieces of legislation supporting good government reforms in Springfield. After refusing to receive a pension for his work as a legislator, he introduced legislation barring all new legislators from receiving a taxpayer-funded pension. He also backed a bill stopping legislators from being paid if they do not pass a budget.
“With the many issues that residents face, it is unacceptable to allow politicians to come to Springfield with any goal other than to help their constituents,” said Vella. “While this ethics reform package is a good step in the right direction, there is still much more work that needs to be done. I will continue to work to ensure that politicians are working for their constituents, not lining their own pockets.”