Bruce Rauner’s plan for ethics reform contains some new and not-so-new proposals. The plan, which the Republican nominee for governor announced Wednesday, retains reforms he has previously supported, like legislative term limits and independent redistricting. But it also adds new wrinkles, like allowing the General Assembly to eject lawmakers multiple times for the same offense, even if those lawmakers are re-elected to their seats.
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“We need honest people in government. We should not have criminals in the government, that’s crystal clear,” Rauner said. “There are plenty of good people, honest people, the voters can choose from or should choose from.” Rauner cites former State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) as the reason for the change. Smith was expelled by the House after being charged with accepting a bribe, but was later re-elected to the legislature. He remained in office until he was convicted, which resulted in an automatic expulsion.
Rauner is also calling for a new law restricting legislative leaders from holding jobs outside of their duties as lawmakers, as well as a constitutional amendment allowing all elected officials to be recalled.