SPRINGFIELD - Longtime advocates of ethics and transparency in government, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and State Sen. Dan Kotowski will introduce legislation on Thursday that will overhaul the Statement of Economic Interests filed annually by tens of thousands of local and state government employees and officials.

The bill designs a disclosure form that asks clear questions on sources of income, lobbyist relationships and certain loans. It also closes loopholes that allowed filers to answer "not applicable" to almost all of the questions since the form was introduced 40 years ago.

Simon said the goal of the new form is to provide Illinois residents with information that allows them to determine if elected officials, high-ranking employees and candidates hold any conflicts of interest.

"Current disclosure forms are practically meaningless and haven't been revised since their inception 40 years ago," Simon said. "This bill protects the privacy of public servants while allowing taxpayers to better identify where a conflict of interest may exist."

Simon has released her personal tax return in an effort to demonstrate transparent leadership, and has asked her senior staff to file more detailed disclosure forms that allow citizens to better find any potential conflicts of interest.

 

DATE: Thursday, Nov. 29

TIME: 9:30 a.m.

PLACE: Senate Chamber entrance, Capitol Building, Springfield

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