New legislation in Springfield would keep incumbents from announcing the giveaway of taxpayer-funded grants right before an election.


State Sens. Sue Rezin and Jason Barickman are sponsoring a bill that would create ethical checks on incumbents and the way they publicize the distribution of taxpayer dollars.


Rezin said this is a step toward regaining the trust of Illinois residents.


“This legislation stops that cronyism that happens before the election,” the Morris Republican said. “It provides a blackout period so elected officials cannot use that free media to their advantage right before the election.”


She said the legislation is in response to Gov. Pat Quinn’s controversial grant program called the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. The $50 million grant program began just in time for the 2010 gubernatorial election in which Quinn beat Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady by only 30,000 votes.


Rezin called the NRI a black eye for Illinois.


“People were given grants right before the election,” Rezin said. “There was no accountability or paperwork to accompany it. The money didn’t go to the purposes it was supposed to.”

Rezin is also sponsoring bills that would impose more restrictions on politicians who want to secure lobbying jobs after their tenures in government.