Both police reform advocates and law enforcement supporters face the same serious obstacle in Illinois: police union contracts include provisions protecting officers from discipline. Those contracts carry more weight than state law.View Report
Illinois made an important first step in its break with the corrupt practices that defined the legislative process under former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. New ethics rules about lobbying, financial disclosures and the legislative watchdog were passed in the final hours of the session.
Senate Bill 4, the likely vehicle for ethics reform in Springfield, offers slight improvements over the Madigan era. But if Illinois is serious about ending its culture of corruption, key points need more muscle.
If Illinois could have reduced corruption to the national average, an estimated 79,000 fewer people would be living in poverty, according to an analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute. State lawmakers can help by passing ethics reforms.