SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) offered the following statement after filing an updated ethics reform bill found within Senate Bill 2909:

"The ethics reform package (SB 539) passed in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly was a good step in the long overdue task of reforming rules and conduct of those of us who are elected to represent our constituents and make laws in Springfield. While I applaud these efforts, and recognize that this bill is an important beginning, I firmly believe reform measures need to go even further.  We senators and representatives must all be required to look ourselves squarely in the mirror and ask, "Am I acting in an honorable way that will bring trust to this legislative body I have been selected to serve?"

For so many years there has been a blurred line when legislators take official action on matters where they have a conflict of interest.  I am introducing legislation that would require disclosure of a conflict of interest on any legislation brought before the General Assembly, rather than merely suggesting that legislators "should" disclose a conflict, as is currently the case.  My legislation, SB 2909, would mandate that conflicts of interest be made public and that this disclosure be attached to the official record of the bill in question.  

Some of my colleagues may squirm at this proposal, others may say there is no practical way for elected officials to do this. To them, I say, please bring your ideas and concerns to me and let us work together to address the changes that need to be made.

Our constituents who send us to represent them in Springfield deserve nothing less. We must continue to build on the initial ethics bill and restore credibility and trust to those of us honored with the responsibility of representing our neighbors."

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