Woodstock – After the arrest of a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for attempted bribery of a public official, State Representative Steven Reick has co-sponsored legislation that would ban lawmakers from performing paid lobbying work before units of local government while in office.
“The fact that a member of the General Assembly can lobby while in office is a clear conflict of interest,” said Rep. Reick. “A lawmaker cannot honestly serve both the interests of his or her constituents while lobbying for clients who have business before the General Assembly or any other unit of government. I urge all of my colleagues in the General Assembly to take up this legislation for a vote and pass it.”
The legislation, House Bill 3947 (HB 3947), would ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses, and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work before units of local government. Currently, members of the Illinois General Assembly – state representatives and state senators – are prohibited from lobbying the State of Illinois, but are not prohibited from lobbying local government units, such as a counties or municipalities.
On Friday, October 25, Democratic State Representative Luis Arroyo of Chicago was arrested by Federal agents for attempted bribery of a public official. Arroyo works as a registered lobbyist with the City of Chicago in addition to his duties as a state representative. According to the United States Department of Justice, Arroyo attempted to bribe an unnamed state senator $2,500 per month in exchange for supporting legislation that would benefit one of Arroyo’s lobbying clients. If convicted of the corruption charges, Arroyo faces up to 10 years in prison.
If HB 3947 were law prior to Rep. Arroyo’s attempted bribery scheme, he would have been precluded from performing paid lobbying work on behalf of his client while serving in office.