New Illinois Ethics Legislation in Jeopardy

(Skokie, IL) — The Illinois House voted overwhelmingly, 113-3, to override Governor Rod Blagojevich’s veto of landmark ethics legislation this week and sent the bill Thursday to the Senate. But Senate President Emil Jones now says the 15-day clock to consider the legislation does not start until the Senate returns to Springfield. The Senate returns on November 12.

Legislators in both parties are challenging the Senate President’s interpretation of the Constitution. It’s a risky interpretation. If his interpretation is incorrect, then his action by inaction will have killed the ethics reform.

The ethics bill’s key provision bans political contributors who have or want state contracts valued at least $50,000 from donating campaign money to statewide elected officials who hand out the contracts. This plan starts cleaning up Illinois’ political sleaze. Now it may die.

Senator Jones’ interpretation could be challenged in court.

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