ROCKFORD (WREX) — A Rockford lawmaker filed a bill to prohibit ex-legislators from immediately becoming corporate lobbyists after leaving office.

Rep. Dave Vella, (D) of the 68th District in Rockford, recently filed House Bill 2389.

In previous General Assemblies, legislators could resign part way through their elected term to start lobbying their former colleagues of behalf of private companies.

Vella’s legislation would put a five-year ban on elected officials registering as lobbyists after leaving office.

Rep. Dave Vella says the legislation is “in an effort to help restore faith in government.”

“For too long we have seen a revolving door of legislators leaving office, often part way through their term, only to immediately become a lobbyist,” said Vella. “This revolving door in Springfield has allowed for too many crooked deals with elected officials no longer acting in the best interest of the public and only the best interest of themselves.”

House Bill 2389 is one of several bills on ethics reform that Vella is sponsoring.

Vella says he is working to restore faith in government by removing automatic pay raises and exit bonuses for politicians (House Bill 178 and House Bill 3104).

He also says he is fighting to end taxpayer funded pensions for legislators (House Bill 2428) and has personally refused a pension for being a legislator.   

“We have politicians abusing their elected office to get lobbying jobs and leaving office before the end of their term. This leads to politicians still influencing legislation without having to being held accountable by voters,” said Vella. “Our elected officials need to be focused on helping the communities they represent, not focused on finding a bigger paycheck.” 

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March 9, 2021 at 10:10AM