When I speak with constituents, they are justifiably upset about the state of our government. They have little to no faith in leadership at all levels of service, from local to state to federal. They are sick and tired of the graft, the pay-to-play politics, and politicians ...
When I speak with constituents, they are justifiably upset about the state of our government. They have little to no faith in leadership at all levels of service, from local to state to federal. They are sick and tired of the graft, the pay-to-play politics, and politicians looking out for special interests instead of the interests of everyday people. We owe it to the residents of Illinois to restore public trust and faith in our government. We can achieve great strides in improving people’s quality of life but we are greatly hindered when our system is corrupted.
After months of hard work I am happy to say that the General Assembly, through the tremendous leadership and hard work of Representative John Fritchey and Senator Don Harmon, passed HB 824, which will help put an end to pay-to-play politics in Illinois government. The bill awaits the governor’s signature and he should sign it today. When it goes into affect, it will ban businesses with $50,000 or more in state contracts from making political contributions to elected officials who oversee the contracts.
I was proud to co-sponsor and publicly advocate for HB 824. As a candidate I campaigned on confronting corruption and improving ethics in our state. Passage of this bill offered a chance to fulfill a promise to those I serve and to send a strong message to voters throughout our state that we respect the value of transparency, accountability and a commitment to honest government.
It is obvious, however, that we need more than one tool at our disposal to change the ethical climate in our state. Last year, I was the chief sponsor and co-sponsor of two bills that are now law in our state: one requires real time posting of all state contracts in a searchable, on-line database; the other, proposed by State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, requires posting of information regarding the investment of public funds. Taken together with the ban on pay-to-play politics, these bills put us on the right track in our state.
I urge Governor Blagojevich to do the right thing and sign House Bill 824 into law immediately. This will hopefully ensure the beginning of the end of corruption in our state and show the people that we are committed to service for the sake of helping children, families, and seniors "achieve the decent satisfying life that is the right of everyone."
Dan Kotowski represents the 33rd District (Mount Prospect) in the Illinois State Senate.