Illinois state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington) | http://www.davidmcsweeney.com/
It may be a new year, but the anti-corruption narrative that Illinois state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington) worked so hard to have heard the past few months of 2019 has not changed a bit.
“I hope this sends the message that corruption will no longer be tolerated in Springfield,” McSweeney told the Lake County Gazette of a pair of ethics-reform bills he plans to introduce to the General Assembly as soon as the legislature reconvenes later this month. “The situation has gotten out of control and something has to be done.”
House Bill 3951 seeks to add five years to the sentence of any state lawmaker convicted of a felony offense related to their public duties. The bill is in direct response to recent scandals that led to the abrupt resignations of veteran state lawmakers Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) and state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago).
Former Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago)
Just before the holidays, Arroyo was forced to step down after being collared on bribery charges in which he is accused of trying to pay off a sitting state senator in exchange for a vote on a gambling bill. Sandoval, whose resignation became official on Jan. 1, remains under investigation after being implicated in a kickback scheme involving his former post as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
“This is a penalty-enhancement bill and with everything that’s happening, I hope it will get a hearing right away and have bipartisan support because it’s something that we need,” McSweeney said.
With House Bill 3962, McSweeney is also pushing legislation that would require that all reports filed with the Legislative Inspector General be made public when instances of misconduct are alleged. He has also announced he will not be seeking reelection in 2021, possibly with an eye toward a run for a statewide office.