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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 18, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Responds to COVID-19

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The Board of Ethics is delaying implementation of Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, previously set for April 20 to July 1. The ordinance imposes new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city. Steven Berlin, Executive Director for the […]

The Board of Ethics is delaying implementation of Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, previously set for April 20 to July 1.

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

Steven Berlin, Executive Director for the Chicago Board of Ethics, explained as the city and groups around Chicago work to respond to COVID-19, delaying enforcement until the third quarter is appropriate.

Advisory Opinion Case No. 202012.Q was issued to provide guidance regarding gifts and services to aid the city in its official response to COVID-19.

The Board of Ethics also canceled the two remaining prescheduled March in-person ethics training seminars for March 17 and March 26.

Berlin indicated the training will be posted online as soon as possible and the completion deadline will be extended accordingly.

The quarterly activity reporting deadlines of April 20 and July 20 remain in effect.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 17, 2020 •

Illinois Extends All Filing Deadlines 30 Days

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Office of the Secretary of State has closed through March 31 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Online access remains available to all lobbyists and authorized agents. Statutorily required deadlines, including lobbying semimonthly reports, are extended for 30 days. The […]

The Office of the Secretary of State has closed through March 31 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Online access remains available to all lobbyists and authorized agents.

Statutorily required deadlines, including lobbying semimonthly reports, are extended for 30 days.

The office indicates this status may be updated as operations are reviewed.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 12, 2020 •

Illinois Cancels Legislative Sessions and Events Through Next Week

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

On Wednesday March 11, lawmakers cancelled all legislative sessions through next week. This will also include all other events scheduled to take place at the Capitol in Springfield, including lobby day events and tours of the Capitol. Senate President Don […]

On Wednesday March 11, lawmakers cancelled all legislative sessions through next week.

This will also include all other events scheduled to take place at the Capitol in Springfield, including lobby day events and tours of the Capitol.

Senate President Don Harmon announced next week’s legislative sessions are canceled due to public health concerns over the coronavirus.

The General Assembly was set to return to session in Springfield next Wednesday, the day after Tuesday’s primary.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 4, 2020 •

Illinois State Legislators Working on Omnibus Bill

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

Illinois State District 28 Sen. Laura Murphy announced she is working with District 55 Rep. Martin Moylan on an omnibus bill for ethics reform to fight corruption. The bill will likely incorporate provisions from six existing bills, including recently passed […]

Illinois State District 28 Sen. Laura Murphy announced she is working with District 55 Rep. Martin Moylan on an omnibus bill for ethics reform to fight corruption.

The bill will likely incorporate provisions from six existing bills, including recently passed Senate Bill 1639 and House Joint Resolution 93.

Senate Bill 1639 increases disclosure requirements for registered lobbyists.

Meanwhile House Joint Resolution 93 establishes the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform.

The omnibus bill may also incorporate the following provisions:

    • To require members of the General Assembly to be immediately removed from any leadership position if charged with a crime (Senate Bill 2488).
    • To prohibit members of the General Assembly and members of his or her family from engaging in lobbying (Senate Bill 3020).
    • To prohibit members of the General Assembly from engaging in lobbying for two years after leaving office (Senate Bill 3588).
    • To create a uniform statement of economic interest for anyone required to file under the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act (Senate Bill 3318).
Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

February 26, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Releases Fourth Binding Advisory Opinion

Chicago River @ Michigan Ave. By David Wilson

The Chicago Board of Ethics released a fourth binding advisory opinion to provide additional guidance on Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305. Effective April 20, it will impose new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city. The board states […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics released a fourth binding advisory opinion to provide additional guidance on Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305.

Effective April 20, it will impose new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city.

The board states the 14 questions addressed in the new advisory opinion reflect the fundamental principal of Chicago’s lobbying law:

If an individual is paid by another person or organization to influence city administrative or legislative actions, the activity should be done transparently, either through official documented administrative processes or through registration and reporting lobbying activity.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

February 18, 2020 •

Illinois Introduces Legislation to Expand the Definition of Lobbying

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

Lawmakers introduced legislation to expand the definition of lobbying  to include promoting or opposing the passage of any local legislative matter by a unit of local government. House Bill 5468, sponsored by Rep. Maurice A. West, defines local legislative matter […]

Lawmakers introduced legislation to expand the definition of lobbying  to include promoting or opposing the passage of any local legislative matter by a unit of local government.

House Bill 5468, sponsored by Rep. Maurice A. West, defines local legislative matter as any bill, resolution, nomination, ordinance, or other issue or proposal pending before the unit of local government, its legislative body, or any committee, subcommittee, or commission.

If passed prior to June 1, the bill would become effective January 1, 2021.

If passed after to May 31, the bill would become effective June 1, 2021.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 23, 2020 •

Don Harmon replaces John Cullerton as Illinois Senate president

Former Sen. John Cullerton - Ashlee Rezin Garcia

John Cullerton, a Democrat from the North Side, resigned from Senate District 6 after more than four decades in office. Cullerton served as the 38th president of the state Senate. Sen. Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, was elected […]

John Cullerton, a Democrat from the North Side, resigned from Senate District 6 after more than four decades in office. Cullerton served as the 38th president of the state Senate.

Sen. Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, was elected unanimously to replace Cullerton as Senate president.

Democratic ward and township committeemen within the 6th District have 30 days after Cullerton’s resignation to name a replacement.

Because Cullerton did not file paperwork for his retirement with the Secretary of the Senate, there will not be a primary for the seat in March.

Local Democratic and Republican party leaders in Cullerton’s district will select who will be on the November ballot to finish out Cullerton’s term ending January 2023.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 20, 2020 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Issues Advisory Opinions

The Chicago Board of Ethics issued a press release and three binding advisory opinions. These opinions clarify what does and does not constitute lobbying activity by nonprofit organizations. The opinions include a total of 44 scenarios or hypothetical situations addressing […]

The Chicago Board of Ethics issued a press release and three binding advisory opinions.

These opinions clarify what does and does not constitute lobbying activity by nonprofit organizations.

The opinions include a total of 44 scenarios or hypothetical situations addressing concerns raised by the nonprofit community in response to recently passed amendments to lobbying laws.

Effective April 20, Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305 imposes new registration and reporting requirements on certain nonprofit interactions with the city.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 9, 2020 •

Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Governor Bullock

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock - Gage Skidmore

A lawsuit filed by the Illinois Opportunity Project over Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s executive order on dark money in elections has been dismissed. The Illinois-based conservative advocacy group filed the lawsuit in U.S. federal court in Helena objecting to Executive […]

A lawsuit filed by the Illinois Opportunity Project over Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s executive order on dark money in elections has been dismissed.

The Illinois-based conservative advocacy group filed the lawsuit in U.S. federal court in Helena objecting to Executive Order 15-2018.

The Executive order requires organizations receiving large state contracts to report political contributions that exceed $2,500, even if the disclosures are not required under federal election laws.

Judge Charles C. Lovell ruled the Illinois Opportunity Project could not prove it had been harmed by the executive order because current or potential donors refused to contribute money because they would be named.

The advocacy group has until January 21 to file an amended complaint.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 7, 2020 •

Illinois Special Election called for Senate District 11

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

A special election has been called for Senate District 11 to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Martin Sandoval, effective January 1, 2020. Sandoval resigned amid a federal corruption investigation. The primary will be held on March 17 and the […]

A special election has been called for Senate District 11 to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Martin Sandoval, effective January 1, 2020.

Sandoval resigned amid a federal corruption investigation.

The primary will be held on March 17 and the general election will be November 3.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 24, 2019 •

Chicago Announces Three Month Delay in Effective Date of Ethics Ordinance

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall - Ken Lund

The city of Chicago announced a three-month delay for the effective date of an ordinance expanding the definition of lobbyist. The expansion would include persons acting on behalf of a nonprofit if they undertake those efforts as a matter of […]

The city of Chicago announced a three-month delay for the effective date of an ordinance expanding the definition of lobbyist.

The expansion would include persons acting on behalf of a nonprofit if they undertake those efforts as a matter of professional engagement, regardless of pay or compensation.

Ethics Ordinance 2019-5305, originally scheduled to be effective January 1, 2020, will provide exceptions to the registration requirements for persons who, either as a member of, or on behalf of, a not-for-profit entity conduct nonpartisan analysis or research, provide technical advice, or examine broad social and economic problems.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

December 19, 2019 •

Illinois Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform Scheduled to Meet

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_R._Thompson_Center,_Chicago,_Illinois_(9179428785).jpg

The James R. Thompson Center - Ken Lund

Co-chairs Sen. Elgie R. Sims, Jr. and Rep. Greg Harris called the first hearing of the new Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform. The hearing will take place Monday, December 23 at 10 a.m. in Room 16-503 of the […]

Co-chairs Sen. Elgie R. Sims, Jr. and Rep. Greg Harris called the first hearing of the new Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform.

The hearing will take place Monday, December 23 at 10 a.m. in Room 16-503 of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.

The hearing will include a discussion about the commission’s framework of rules, protocols, and future meetings.

The commission was established to review and make recommendations for changes to the State Official and Employees Ethics Act, the Lobbyist Registration Act, the Public Officers Prohibited Activities Act, and Article 50 of the Illinois Procurement Code.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close