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Illinois General Assembly Ethics Office Can Begin Addressing Case Backlog

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The Illinois General Assembly’s new ethics watchdog can now begin investigating a backlog of 27 cases.
They’ve been piling up for nearly three years while the office has been vacant.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law yesterday that removes an expiration date on some of the complaints. Rauner wasn't satisfied with all of the bill's content.

“House Bill 137 is very flawed," he said.

The governor signed it anyway, but said if the inspector general finds a problem, a different statute of limitations in the law could prevent her from filing a complaint with the Legislative Ethics Commission.

“They should have dealt with that in the bill … I hope they come back quickly and make it better," he said. 

State Sen. Cristina Castro, who joined the Legislative Ethics Commission earlier this month, says the law was essential for letting the new inspector general get going.

“I feel confident that she now has the tools needed to move forward, and she’ll move forward quickly."

Castro said she's open to new legislative changes if the inspector general needs them to complete its work. 

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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