September 16, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics to Enforce Lobbying Ban

Chicago River @ Michigan Ave. By David Wilson

The Chicago Board of Ethics announced it will begin enforcing Ordinance 2-156-309 on October 1. The ordinance prohibits state and local elected officials from lobbying City Council or any city agency, department, board, or commission. In a press release announcing […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics announced it will begin enforcing Ordinance 2-156-309 on October 1.

The ordinance prohibits state and local elected officials from lobbying City Council or any city agency, department, board, or commission.

In a press release announcing enforcement of the ban, the board indicated it had been monitoring compliance and delayed enforcement of the ordinance, which took effect April 14, because a proposal submitted to City Council by Mayor Lori Lightfoot would have affected at least one lobbyist.

The board indicated sufficient time has passed and it has confirmed there will be no changes to the ordinance.

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August 17, 2020 •

Illinois Rep. Durkin Introduces Resolution to Remove House Speaker

House Spkr Michael Madigan

House Spkr Michael Madigan - by Illinoislawmakers

Rep. Jim Durkin introduced House Resolution 885 declaring the members of the House of Representatives have no confidence House Speaker Michael J. Madigan can continue in his role as speaker. The effort to remove Madigan comes in the wake of […]

Rep. Jim Durkin introduced House Resolution 885 declaring the members of the House of Representatives have no confidence House Speaker Michael J. Madigan can continue in his role as speaker.

The effort to remove Madigan comes in the wake of the federal charges and conduct outlined in testimony and in the Deferred Prosecution Agreement entered into between Commonwealth Edison Company and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

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August 17, 2020 •

Illinois Democrats Propose Ethics Reform Bills

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

In a virtual news conference on August 13, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed a package of ethics reform bills. The group’s goal is for the General Assembly to take the bills up during the veto session scheduled to begin […]

In a virtual news conference on August 13, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed a package of ethics reform bills.

The group’s goal is for the General Assembly to take the bills up during the veto session scheduled to begin on November 17.

Proposals include banning current state legislators from also serving as lobbyists; banning former lawmakers from immediately becoming lobbyists after they leave office; amending the definition of what activities are considered lobbying; and creating official procedures for investigation, censure, and temporary removal of leadership positions for members facing criminal charges.

Republicans asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker to call a special session now to focus on ethics reform, but Pritzker issued a statement indicating he believes these important objectives should be accomplished during this fall’s veto session.

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July 6, 2020 •

Chicago Lobbying Ordinance Stalled

Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot - MacLean Center

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed amendment to the lobbying ordinance has been stalled. The stall comes after Lincoln Park Alderwoman Michele Smith, chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight, said she has no plans to call Lightfoot’s ordinance for […]

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed amendment to the lobbying ordinance has been stalled.

The stall comes after Lincoln Park Alderwoman Michele Smith, chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight, said she has no plans to call Lightfoot’s ordinance for a vote.

The Mayor introduced Ordinance 2020-2328 in April over concerns that the language in the original ordinance passed by City Council late last year was too broad.

Additionally, there were concerns the ordinance would force registered lobbyists to give up positions on suburban bodies in order to keep lobbying Chicago government.

The proposed amendment would allow elected officials from outside Chicago to lobby City Council, the mayor, and other city offices.

This would be allowed as long as the public body they represent does not have pending or recurring legislative or contractual matters involving the city of Chicago.

In response to Smith’s statement, a spokesman for Lightfoot stated the administration looks forward to partnering with Smith to make necessary updates to any existing lobbying policies.

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June 19, 2020 •

Illinois Board of Elections Announces Amnesty Period for Late Contribution Reports

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Board of Elections announced an amnesty period for late filers of the March 2020 quarterly report of campaign contributions and expenditures, due on April 15. No penalties will be assessed for reports filed […]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Board of Elections announced an amnesty period for late filers of the March 2020 quarterly report of campaign contributions and expenditures, due on April 15.

No penalties will be assessed for reports filed on or before June 30.

Similarly, no penalties will be assessed for late Schedule A-1 reports of contributions of $1,000 or more, due between March 18 and June 30, as long as they are filed on or before June 30.

Late reports (Quarterly or A-1) filed after June 30 will be subject to statutorily mandated penalties.

The Board’s one-time amnesty will not apply to the upcoming June 2020 Quarterly Report, which is due no later than July 15. 

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June 19, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Delays Non-Profit Lobbying Laws Until 2021

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Board of Ethics announced a further delay in the implementation Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, previously set for July 1, 2020. The implementation will now be on January 1, 2021 due to the continuing work by the city and many non-profit […]

The Board of Ethics announced a further delay in the implementation Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, previously set for July 1, 2020.

The implementation will now be on January 1, 2021 due to the continuing work by the city and many non-profit organizations to respond to COVID-19 crisis.

The ordinance imposes new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city.

With the announcement, the Board and the Mayor’s Office stated they are committed to working with non-profit organizations and stakeholders to understand and respond to their concerns about this law.

In addition, the office states they are committed on working toward amendments that increase transparency in Chicago.

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May 29, 2020 •

Chicago Extends Deadline for First Quarter Lobbyist Activity Reports

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Chicago Board of Ethics is further extending the first quarterly report filing deadline from June 1 to July 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. First quarter reports cover the January 1 to March 31 period and must be filed […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics is further extending the first quarterly report filing deadline from June 1 to July 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First quarter reports cover the January 1 to March 31 period and must be filed even if there was no activity.

In addition, registered lobbyists now have until December 31st to complete their annual mandatory ethics training.

The board expects additional amendments to the city’s lobbying laws later in 2020.

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May 28, 2020 •

Illinois Special Session Adjourned

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Illinois Legislature adjourned on May 24 at the end of a special session that started on May 20. Initially, the Senate met at the Capitol and the House at the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due […]

The Illinois Legislature adjourned on May 24 at the end of a special session that started on May 20.

Initially, the Senate met at the Capitol and the House at the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns.

The abbreviated special session focused mainly on budget issues and COVID-19 related legislation.

No bill permitting the Legislature to convene virtually was passed during this session.

Therefore, the Legislature will convene in person for the veto session scheduled to begin November 17.

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May 20, 2020 •

Illinois House Reconvenes at Bank of Springfield Center

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Illinois House of Representatives reconvened for a special session on May 20 in the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns. Members were spread across the center’s makeshift House floor, sat at folding chairs […]

The Illinois House of Representatives reconvened for a special session on May 20 in the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns.

Members were spread across the center’s makeshift House floor, sat at folding chairs and desks with a free-standing microphone beside each lawmaker’s workstation.

Both House Republicans and Democrats went into caucus at the Bank of Springfield center shortly after they convened the special session.

The Republicans moved to another space within the convention center, and Democrats remaining on the floor.

The Senate reconvened on May 18 at the Capitol.

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May 8, 2020 •

Chicago Mayor Proposes Amendment to Lobbying Ordinance

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

At the request of the Executive Director of the Board of Ethics, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at the last City Council meeting, proposed an amendment to the lobbying ordinance passed late last year. Lightfoot’s proposed Ordinance 2020-2328 would amend Chapter 2-156 […]

At the request of the Executive Director of the Board of Ethics, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at the last City Council meeting, proposed an amendment to the lobbying ordinance passed late last year.

Lightfoot’s proposed Ordinance 2020-2328 would amend Chapter 2-156 of the Municipal Code regarding lobbying to allow elected officials from outside Chicago to lobby the City Council, the mayor’s office and other city government offices, as long as the public body they represent doesn’t have pending or recurring legislative or contractual matters involving the city of Chicago.

If passed the ordinance would become effective immediately.

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April 10, 2020 •

Chicago Extends Deadline for First Quarter Lobbyist Activity Reports

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Board of Ethics is extending the first quarterly report filing deadline from April 20 to June 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. First quarter reports cover the period from January 1 to March 31 and must be filed even […]

The Board of Ethics is extending the first quarterly report filing deadline from April 20 to June 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First quarter reports cover the period from January 1 to March 31 and must be filed even if there was no activity.

In addition, 2020 mandatory online lobbyist training has not been posted and the training deadline has been extended past June 30.

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April 8, 2020 •

No Report From the Illinois Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform missed the March 31 deadline for submitting their draft report. The commission cited the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission was established in December of 2019 to consider ethics reform […]

The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform missed the March 31 deadline for submitting their draft report.

The commission cited the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commission was established in December of 2019 to consider ethics reform in Illinois.

Since its inception, the commission has conducted six public hearings, heard testimony from 38 witnesses, and received extensive feedback from stakeholders.

It’s work was nearly complete with the only task remaining of issuing a final report.

The commission last met March 5 and had planned to meet once more before the deadline.

Members requested reasonable date extensions for completion of the report, but those requests were denied.

This leaves the completion date for the report open-ended at this time.

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April 3, 2020 •

Illinois Further Extends All Filing Deadlines

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

Lobbying semimonthly reporting deadlines are now extended for 60 days, pushing the April 5 due date to June 4. In response to the exponential spread of COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-18 on April 1. The order extends […]

Lobbying semimonthly reporting deadlines are now extended for 60 days, pushing the April 5 due date to June 4.

In response to the exponential spread of COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-18 on April 1.

The order extends prior executive orders for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations, which currently extends through April 30.

The Legislature also remains suspended through next week.

Additionally, lawmakers have been asked to keep their calendars clear for possible return dates.

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March 20, 2020 •

Illinois Lawmakers Cancel A Second Week of Legislative Sessions

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

Illinois Lawmakers canceled a second week of legislative sessions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. The General Assembly was scheduled to come back to Springfield on March 24. The deadline for House bills to move out of committee, […]

Illinois Lawmakers canceled a second week of legislative sessions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The General Assembly was scheduled to come back to Springfield on March 24.

The deadline for House bills to move out of committee, March 27, has been extended to April 3.

Members may end up meeting during the scheduled spring break period, April 6-17.

The deadline to move bills out of Senate committee is still set for March 27.

The Illinois Constitution requires lawmakers pass a budget before they adjourn on May 31.

Under the Illinois Constitution and state law, the General Assembly cannot hold remote sessions.

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