ROCKFORD, Ill. – In order to ensure that elected officials are working in the best interests of their constituents, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, helped pass an ethics reform bill that cracks down on corrupt government practices and increases transparency and oversight of politicians and political insiders.
“With the many serious issues that families and communities across Illinois are facing, it is unacceptable to allow politicians to use state office to enrich themselves instead of helping those they were elected to represent,” said Vella. “This legislation is a great step forward in putting the needs of Illinoisans first rather than the pockets of politicians.”
Vella co-sponsored Senate Bill 539, which passed the House last week with bipartisan support. The legislation strengthens existing ethics laws by prohibiting officials from becoming lobbyists until 6 months after their term ends, making legislator salary pro-rated to ensure they are not paid for days they do not work, and banning political fundraisers on legislative session days. The bill also adds oversight on political insiders by requiring additional transparency from lobbyists.
Since entering the General Assembly, one of Vella’s top priorities has been to protect taxpayers from unethical practices in Springfield. He refused a taxpayer-funded pension and introduced legislation barring any new legislators from being able to receive a pension. Vella also introduced legislation stopping automatic pay raises for legislators.
“When we have families struggling to stay in their homes due to rising property taxes, small businesses permanently closing their doors due to lack of resources, and first responders not getting the support they need to keep our communities safe, the last thing we need is corrupt politicians standing in the way of working on the issues that our constituents elected us to address,” said Vella. “Residents deserve to know that their elected officials are working in their best interests, and I will continue to support efforts to make our laws ensure that is the case.”