Illinois state Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City)
Illinois state Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) took part in a a press conference Wednesday to urge Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker to call for a special session devoted to ethics reform legislation, rather than wait six weeks for the start of the next scheduled session.
"The people in our districts demand action," Wilhour said. "They don’t understand the lack of urgency from their elected officials. We agree it's embarrassing and unacceptable. While much of the focus has been on Democrats, we’re ready and willing to expose corruption regardless of political party.
Two longtime Democratic legislators have recently stepped down or announced their resignations amid a swirl of federal corruption investigations involving numerous members of the party. Wilhour said at the press conference that he wanted all Illinoisans who are sick of the problem to know he hears them.
House Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee
"We realize the need for reform," Wilhour said. "How can people in Illinois trust the government when we leave the same people in charge? People are demanding accountability. Creating some commission dominated by the same party that has multiple members under investigation is not the urgent response Illinois wants. We support leadership change and we hope the other side of the aisle does too."
Pritzker has gone on record to say the situation is unacceptable.
"If he’s serious, he should answer our demands — call for a special session," Wilhour said. "We’re here. We’re going to be here. We’re ready to go. This has to be a priority. Democrats can’t be silent — being silent is complacent. This is a distinct opportunity to show the people who sent us here that we’re listening to their ideas."
House Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) also took part in the press conference.
"My constituents are calling for reform," Skillicorn said. "Ours are calling for reform and so are all the rest of the people in Illinois. We need real ethics reform. We need to take corruption out of this building."
"All we want is a sense of urgency to focus on this," Wilhour said.