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Anti-Corruption Bills Await Senate Action

Legislation inspired by the Rita Crundwell scandal could soon see activity in the Illinois Senate. Crundwell is the former Dixon comptroller who is serving a federal prison sentence for stealing millions of dollars from the city. A trio of bills drafted in response to her arrest recently cleared the House. They call for tougher penalties and more oversight of local government finances.

Republican Representative Tom Demmer, who is from Dixon, played an active role in advancing the measures through the lower chamber.

"There's some local governments out there doing an excellent job of detecting these things and reviewing these things. Bot a lot of times it takes a wake-up call in order to get people to rethink the processes they have and maybe look for opportunities to improve those" Demmer said.

One of the bills would require counties and municipalities to create a committee to review certain financial activity. The measure could be considered by a Senate committee as early as Wednesday.

Some officials at the local level say such a requirement might be redundant. But Demmer says this is a way to encourage local governments, who haven't updated their review policies in a while, to bolster their oversight.