A series of attempts to expose or break ties between legislators and lobbyists failed to so much as get a vote in the Illinois Senate. One of the measures in question would require disclosing if a lobbyist is related to a legislator or if a lobbyist has business ties with one. Another bill would close the “revolving door,” barring ex-lawmakers from coming back as lobbyists for one year from their departure from the General Assembly.
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State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap), the sponsor of the four bills, says he will let a Democrat take credit for the legislation if that would the bills pass. “I don’t need the credit for this and so if that’s what it takes to get the bills to the floor, I’m happy to do that,” LaHood says.
LaHood pointed to newspaper articles that show how lobbyist relationships with lawmakers have influenced lawmakers’ votes on issues such as making it easier for electric companies to raise rates.
He says other states already have many of these laws, and shutting these bills down hurts the state’s reputation. “Right now you walk out the doors here and you could be back lobbying your colleagues,” LaHood says.