Session Update for the week:
Happy Friday! This Wednesday we celebrated Bacon Day at the Illinois State Capitol – showing our support for the pig farmers throughout Illinois. This weekend, as you go to the grocery store or make breakfast, I challenge you to #BringHomeTheBacon by adding bacon or any pork product to your grocery cart. In doing so, you are supporting Illinois farms, 96% of which are family owned!
The Illinois House was in Springfield for legislative session this week from Tuesday through Thursday.
With just ten days of legislative session in Springfield remaining on the calendar, we took up many Senate bills this week and have continued our work pushing for a balanced and responsible state budget.
I also am the lead sponsor of six Senate Bills that I am working to get passed over the next 10 days. These bills include a proposal to establish a Rural Education Advisory Council, and proposals to provide more oversight of State residential facilities and give those residents more rights. To read more, here is a list of all of the bills I am sponsoring.
But, the big news of the week highlights the urgent and continued need for ethics reform in Illinois, as the federal jury convicted all four defendants from ComEd guilty on all counts for a scheme to bribe former House Speaker Mike Madigan. I’ll have more on that news below:
Jury Finds ComEd Four Guilty on All Counts in Madigan Bribery Scheme
I have been saying this for a long time, corruption has been a job creator for many politically connected people associated with Democrat lawmakers in Illinois for decades. This verdict proves just that.
In July of 2020 ComEd entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the federal government and agreed to pay a $200 million dollar fine, admitting guilt in a scheme aimed to bribe then-Speaker Mike Madigan in order to gain passage of legislation increasing the company’s profits.
Under the deferred prosecution agreement, ComEd admitted that it “arranged jobs, vendor subcontracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and subcontracts, for various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois, to influence and reward the official’s efforts to assist ComEd with respect to legislation concerning ComEd and its business.”
Following the deferred prosecution agreement, charges were brought against four high-level people associated with ComED – Former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, Former ComEd Lobbyist John Hooker, Company Consultant Jay Doherty, and Lobbyist Michael McClain.
After a 7 week trial and jury deliberations, where the Federal Government laid out the evidence that each of these individuals participated and perpetuated this scheme to bribe then-Speaker Mike Madigan through hiring Madigan cronies to no-work jobs, providing internships to Madigan allies, and other favors, the jury found each of the defendants guilty on all counts of conspiracy, public corruption, falsifying records, and bribery.
This case has been characterized as “one of Illinois’ highest-profile political corruption cases in years.” Although, that will likely be eclipsed next year as the former Speaker Mike Madigan is scheduled to stand trial in his own public corruption case next April.
Through legislation passed in the Illinois General Assembly, ComEd received a bailout worth nearly $700 million and yes they paid a hefty fine for their actions, but this kind of corruption is still affecting our state.
In southern Illinois, we are still paying higher electricity rates because of the corruption associated with the individuals found guilty in a court of law. The deals they cut benefited themselves while southern Illinois is still paying for this form of corruption tax. The legislature needs to pass true anti-corruption laws and increase penalties instead of passing watered-down laws they call reform. I hope their sentences will be stiff and we can learn to work together in Springfield to represent all Illinois residents legally and fairly.
Illinois Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony
Thursday morning I joined many from around the Capitol at the annual Illinois Police Officers’ Memorial for a ceremony remembering all of the Peace Officers throughout Illinois who have lost their lives in service of our state. We paid tribute to these heroes and their families. My heart goes out to all of the families who have lost loved ones and I will always be grateful for the service of our Illinois law enforcement.
I actually had to step away from the service a bit early to respond to an urgent call from one of our county Sheriffs. It just goes to show that their work never stops and we should keep them in our prayers and honor them in our actions.
To learn more about the ceremony, read the beautiful prayers that were shared, or to contribute to the memorial, please visit: http://www.illinoispolicememorial.org/Default.aspx
Murray Developmental Center is Hiring!
As you might remember, I shared this a couple of weeks ago, but there is another job fair coming up for open job positions at the Murray Developmental Center. There are over 93 positions available and the Department of Human Services has committed to job offers being extended as soon as a week after applying! If you have applied in the past, you will need to reapply.
The next job fair will be held:
1535 W. McCord Street
Centralia, IL 62801
More details are on the flier below or you can contact dhs.Recruitment@illinois.gov.
This Week on the Farm:
It’s officially planting season on the farm! We have finished up the corn and are ready to start the beans.
The Week Ahead:
– The House is scheduled to meet next week, Monday, May 8th through Friday, May 12th.
– May 12th is the deadline to pass Senate bills out of the House.
Stay Up To Date:
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