Springfield….State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) sounded off after the adjournment of the 2019 Veto Session on Thursday, expressing his displeasure with a lack of action on a package of tougher ethics reforms he is sponsoring in the House. The 118th district State Representative is in his first-term, but says 2019 has taught him a lot and confirmed many of his suspicions about how business is conducted in Springfield.
“I’m a co-sponsor of more than a dozen bills that are aimed at tackling the real problem of lax ethics laws and corruption in our state,” the Metropolis-based Representative said. “But, tough, common sense reforms seem to be like kryptonite to the Super Majority that controls Illinois government. I’m sponsoring revolving door laws, legislation that bans legislators from serving as lobbyists to the city of Chicago, and bills that require further transparency for lobbyists. I voted to support two bills today that I feel were terribly watered-down, but unfortunately presented the only opportunity for me to be on the record voting in favor of ethics reform.”
Windhorst joined fellow Southern Illinois legislators in issuing a joint op-ed last week calling for the Veto Session passage of nine bills introduced during the Veto Session by House Republicans. What took place on the final day of the Veto Session, according to Windhorst, was a lame attempt by the House Democrats to dress up two feckless bills as reform.
“My colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle demanded parity, equality, and action on ethics reforms,” Windhorst said. “What we got was smoke, mirrors, dogs, and ponies. That is not going to cut it. Offices are being raided, lawmakers are being arrested, and Speaker Madigan doesn’t seem to get it. The IRS and the FBI get it. In the spring Session, we must tackle the issue of ethics reform head on. Let’s end the self-dealing, let’s deter corruption, and let’s restore some faith in the General Assembly and in Illinois government. The majority can move very quickly when it wants to, and I urge quick passage of the House Republicans’ ethics reform package when we return in January 2020.
House Republicans demanded the delay of a scheduled adjournment on Thursday evening so their ethics reform bills could be heard. On a recorded vote, House Democrats decided to adjourn and House Republicans voted to stay in Session. The House returns to action on January 28, 2020.