Illinois state Sen. Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville)
Illinois state Sen. Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) has heard just about enough regarding corruption in state government.
“I'm tired of Illinois being a punchline for late night TV,” Plummer recently posted on Facebook. “I will be rolling out more non-partisan and aggressive legislation aimed at restoring confidence in our state government and punishing those elected officials who violate the public trust.”
Plummer’s actions are prompted by a flood of ongoing federal corruption probes that now find various Democratic state lawmakers at the center. Veteran state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) was recently forced to step down in the 3rd District after he was taken into custody on bribery charges in which federal agents accused him of offering a $2,500 monthly payment to a sitting state senator in exchange for favorable treatment on a proposed gambling bill.
Around the same time, longtime state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) was pressured into relinquishing his State Senate Transportation chairman post after being accused of pocketing payouts as part of a kickback scheme.
“This past week has been an embarrassment for the state of Illinois,” said Plummer, who is part of a growing number of lawmakers now pushing reform legislation. “We can no longer rely on a system that allows politicians to police politicians. We need real reform to ensure independent investigations.”
Senate Bill 2297 would grant the legislative inspector general the power to investigate complaints against legislators and issue subpoenas without prior approval, effectively removing lawmakers from the equation of determining what complaints move forward.
“I’m tired of our great state being a national laughing stock when it comes to corruption and good government,” Plummer said. “I would encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us in a bipartisan manner to get this done. We return to Springfield in two weeks for the second week of the fall veto session. I would hope we can move this legislation along at that time.”
In the meantime, Plummer is encouraging residents of the state to join the fight for reforms.
“Please make sure your senators and representatives are standing up for the voters, not insiders and political parties,” he said.