State House OKs banning lobbyist pensions, curbing official travel

Illinois House lawmakers this week approved two proposals aimed at curbing lobbyists' pensions and local government spending on travel.

Both proposals were inspired in part by articles by Daily Herald Suburban Tax Watchdog columnist Jake Griffin.

State Rep. David McSweeney's legislation would limit the use of tax money for officials' travel.

"By banning entertainment expenses and limiting what officials can spend on lodging, meals and travel, we can cut back on unnecessary spending by local units of government," McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, said.

It's been picked up in the Senate by Democratic state Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park.

And state Rep. Marty Moylan introduced a proposal to prevent lobbyists from collecting public pensions. The Daily Herald reported one park districts lobbyist is set to receive a six-figure pension.

"This bill will end the ability of lobbyists to receive cushy pensions on the backs of taxpayers," Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat, said.

His plan is being carried by Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago.

No lawmaker voted against either proposal, which both now head to the Senate.

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