Senator Plummer co-sponsors legislation to ensure independent investigations of ethics violations

Springfield – State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) is co-sponsoring Senate Bill 2297, legislation that will help restore public trust in an honest and ethical state government.

At a press conference in the Capitol’s blue room, this morning, members of the Senate Republican Caucus unveiled a legislative proposal to ensure independent investigations of members of the General Assembly.
SB 2297, gives the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) the appropriate tools, which the current LIG has suggested, to conduct independent investigations of legislators.

“This past week has been an embarrassment for the State of Illinois,” said Plummer. “We can no longer rely on a system that allows politicians to police politicians. We need real reform to ensure independent investigations. It’s time to take action to regain the trust of the citizens of Illinois.”

Currently, except in cases alleging sexual harassment, the LIG must get advance approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) before opening an investigation, or issuing subpoenas. Additionally, if, during the investigation, the LIG discovers wrongdoing that is beyond the scope of, or unrelated to the initial complaint, they have to go back to the LEC to get approval to investigate further.

Under SB 2297, the LIG would be able to investigate complaints against legislators and issue subpoenas without approval from the LEC. By taking legislators out of the process, the bill ensures independence in the investigation of these claims.

“I’m tired of our great state being a national laughing stock when it comes to corruption and good government,” said Plummer. I would encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us in a bi-partisan manner to get this done. We return to Springfield in two weeks for the second week of the fall veto session. I would hope we can move this legislation along at that time.”

The Senate returns for the final week of the fall veto session on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Jason Plummer

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