State Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, has filed legislation to address what she called the “revolving door” of lawmakers and lobbyists in Illinois.
The legislation, House Bill 879, would ban lawmakers who resign from their post from taking a job as an Illinois lobbyist for the remainder of the term of office from which they resigned or one year, whichever is longer, according to a news release.
“It is ethically dubious that Illinois allows lawmakers to essentially leave the Capitol building, where their name is on a plaque, and then return the next week in a different capacity before the cleaning crew has even had time to remove it,” McDermed said in the release. “Illinois has no shortage of ethics problems, and faith in local and state government is at an all-time low. We need to do the right thing and address these serious holes in our ethics laws.”
McDermed said in the release that during the past two years, there have been a slew of retirements and resignations from House and Senate members, a number of whom have gone on to join lobbying firms. One recent example was former House Majority Leader Lou Lang.
Illinois law restricts state employees from going to work for companies that do business with the state, but lawmakers are not considered state employees and, thus, have no restrictions. According to the release, Illinois is one of only a handful of states that have no mandatory waiting period restrictions.
State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, also was added as a co-sponsor to the legislation.