SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– A new state website shines a bit more light on the world of lobbying in Springfield. Governor Pritzker signed a new ethics reform bill into law late last year.
The secretary of state’s office now has a new searchable database up online to show how much lobbyists spend wining and dining lawmakers, and for the first time. It shows how many lobbyists are also elected officials at the local level.
In his state of the state address, Governor Pritzker said these new rules don’t go nearly far enough.
“It’s time to end the practice of legislators serving as paid lobbyists. In fact, it’s time to end the for-profit influence peddling among all elected officials at every level of government in Illinois. Disclosure of conflicts of interest and punishment for breaching them must be included in any ethics package for us to truly clean up government,” Pritzker said.
Right now, Illinois has 61 registered lobbyists in Springfield who double as elected officials back home at the local level.
More than 300 registered state lobbyists are also registered to lobby various local governments in Illinois, but we still don’t know how much those lobbyists make, or how many state lawmakers may lobby local governments.