ICPR has been a long-time advocate for establishing clear and meaningful ethical guidelines for state officials and employees. Under the guidance of former U.S. Senator Paul Simon in 1998, Illinois took the first of several steps toward ethics reform with passage of the Gift Ban Act, followed by the Inspector Misconduct Act in 2002. Responding to the misconduct uncovered during George Ryan’s tenure as secretary of state and governor, all six statewide constitutional officers and the General Assembly worked together in 2003 to produce the comprehensive State Employees and Officials Ethics Act. Responding to misconduct uncovered during Rod Blagojevich’s tenure as governor of Illinois, the Illinois General Assembly most recently passed further ethics legislation that strengthens the so-called “revolving door” provisions, which are intended to restrict state employees from taking jobs with organizations they regulate.
ICPR supports further enhancements to limit opportunities for misconduct. For instance, Illinois should impose a “cooling-off period” on state personnel leaving government service. Under such provisions, these departing employees would be barred from lobbying or soliciting business from their former colleagues for a specific period of time. ICPR also favors standardization and consistency in the state’s various ethics training programs. In addition, primary oversight for such programs should be granted to the state’s ethics commission.
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As the leading reform group for Illinois, ICPR is a non-partisan public interest group that conducts research and advocates reform.
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