Plainfield, Morris reps. say they’ve ‘seen nothing’ on ethics reform from Democrats in state House

Batinick: ‘There’s an overarching, yet constantly ignored, need for change and reform’

mark batinick

Republican members of the state House of Representatives blasted Democrats for what they said was a lack of substantive legislation brought up to address corruption, taxes and other GOP priorities.

State Reps. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, and David Allen Welter, R-Morris, argued in a news conference Thursday that none of the more than 600 bills the Democrat-controlled House advanced for debate adequately addressed issues such as pensions and property tax reforms.

“There’s an overarching, yet constantly ignored, need for change and reform in Illinois,” Batinick said. “We saw it in November, when voters overwhelmingly said, ‘Stop trying to raise taxes to fix the problems the General Assembly created.’ ”

Batinick and other Republicans have been pushing to end the state’s “culture of corruption,” which he argued need to be addressed in order to solve the state’s chronic fiscal problems.

Welter called out House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, and the Democrats for not passing bills to strengthen the state’s ethics laws, even after multiple elected officials have been accused of wrongdoing in recent years.

“Unfortunately, we have seen nothing from the speaker or the majority party on the issue of ethics reform,” he said.

Welter argued the legislature should have tackled reforms months ago since they “know where the issues are,” such as exposing conflicts of interest by mandating economic disclosure statements from lawmakers and barring them from being able to simultaneously work as a lobbyist.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.