Senate GOP offers its own ethics idea after bribery charge

October 30, 2019 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Senate Republicans have joined the call for ethics reform in Illinois after a state representative was charged with bribery.

GOP leaders on Wednesday announced a measure to give the Legislative Inspector General more independence in investigating alleged wrongdoing among lawmakers or staff.

Sen. Jason Barickman of Bloomington said his plan would allow the inspector general to initiate investigations without the currently required approval of the Legislative Ethics Commission which lawmakers comprise. Barickman’s bill would also give the inspector subpoena power.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Luis Arroyo was named this week in a federal bribery charge. Democratic State Sen. Martin Sandoval is under investigation for possible fraud involving and Democratic Sen. Thomas Cullerton has been indicted for embezzlement .

GOP Sen. Dale Righter of Mattoon says Barickman’s bill is a commonsense beginning point.