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Monday, January 27, 2020

GOP-led ethics reform can only go so far without help in House, Rep. Mazzochi says


By Glenn Minnis | Jan 14, 2020

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Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst)

Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) wonders when Democrats in Springfield will finally acknowledge the painfully obvious truth about their leadership.

“When it comes to corruption in Springfield, it’s like everyone else sees that this house has been burning for ages and they still seem to somehow think there aren’t even smoke signals,” Mazzochi told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Any time they want to come to the table and truly engage on the issue, I’m ready and willing.”

Even with multiple corruption probes playing out at the capital, including the forced resignations of two longtime state lawmakers, Mazzochi admits she will not he holding her breath. The first-term lawmaker recently blasted the way the Democrats in the General Assembly have avoided the issue.

“Republicans called for substantial ethics reform, but Democrats chose to kick everything over to yet another task force,” Mazzochi said. “What they do is always the same. We get all kinds of promises followed by some sort of muddled report. It’s time everyone holds Democrats' feet to the fire.”

Mazzochi hopes the start of the new legislative session later this month will be a time for action. Before the end of the last session, she and fellow GOP lawmakers held a press conference to unveil a package of reform measures that included proposals to ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work with local government units and to create mandatory and publicly available documentation of General Assembly communications with any state agency regarding contracts.

“Our caucus can talk about reform until we’re blue in the face, but unless and until House Democrats join us in this effort, our proposals are dead in the water,” Mazzochi wrote on her website. “If this body has any integrity left, lawmakers need to show the people we represent that we are taking this seriously and that we are prepared to act.”

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