While the legislature was silent on ethics reform during the recently-completed spring session, an annual report from the University of Illinois at Chicago has named Illinois as the third-most corrupt state in the nation. The same report lists the City of Chicago as the nation’s #1 most corrupt city. It is the third consecutive year that Chicago was ranked as America’s most politically corrupt city. The report is based on a formula that compares each area’s corruption convictions with its population and is based on public corruption statistics published by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Currently, the highest profile corruption case in Illinois involves former House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has pleaded not guilty to 22 federal corruption counts alleging he used his elected position for personal gain. The case is pending in federal court.
Despite the Madigan indictment and other indictments of high-ranking Illinois politicians, the Senate Ethics Committee did not meet even once during the 2022 session. Instead, leading Democrats chose to block a comprehensive ethics package filed by Senate Republicans. The Senate Republicans’ bills were never assigned to a committee. Senator Plummer believes ethics reform should have been a top priority during the 2022 session, and says he will continue pushing for substantive ethics reforms to help clean up state government and restore the public’s trust.