Ethics proposal introduced

To bring greater honesty, transparency, and public trust to Illinois government, Senate Republicans have introduced legislation that would tighten rules for constitutional officers and legislators.

Senate Bill 2764 would enhance the state’s grant-making process by preventing elected officials from abusing their power when awarding grants. The legislation would impose a blackout period on constitutional officers and legislators from announcing grants close to an election; require a merit-based review of how grant recipients are selected, which will require documentation of award decisions including evaluation and scoring of applicants; and authorize a state agency to stop payments to any grant recipient that is not in compliance with the agreement.

The proposal is in response to the months-long audit review of former Gov. Quinn’s controversial Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI). Many questioned Quinn’s political motives when he awarded more than $50 million in NRI grants in the weeks leading up to the 2010 general election.

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