Several bills are still in the pipeline with just days to go in the spring legislative session in Springfield. One addresses the so-called "revolving door" when a lawmaker or someone with close ties to one becomes a lobbyist. Another is meant to make it easier for veterans to get jobs. That one has passed both chambers unanimously and awaits the governor’s action.
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To some people, it’s bad enough if it simply looks bad. That’s the case, says State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria), when the news comes out that Jack Lavin transformed himself from governor’s chief of staff to casino and medical-marijuana lobbyist in months. “The perception of that is the problem, and that’s what’s been exposed,” says LaHood, who took the opportunity to announce he has filed “revolving door” restrictions every year since he has been in Springfield, but the bills have gotten nowhere. LaHood says he is encouraged, now that the bill has a Democratic co-sponsor and, possibly, the governor’s support.
A bill meant to make it easier for veterans to get jobs has passed both chambers unanimously and awaits the governor’s action. State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) sponsored a bill to increase the maximum age to become a professional firefighter – if you are a veteran. The current age is 35; the bill makes it 40 for veterans.
Rose says not only do veterans need jobs, but many of them retire honorably and in excellent physical condition. An added point, Rose says, is that the Navy trains all of its men and women as firefighters.
H.B. 4741 (firefighters) has passed the Senate 58-0 and goes to the governor.
S.B. 2263 (revolving door) has not been assigned to a Senate committee.