Ethics reform, higher wage floor pushed in State of State
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Pat Quinn boosted his populist credentials Wednesday as he looks toward a 2014 re-election bid, calling for tougher conflict-of-interest controls on lawmakers, increasing the minimum wage to $10 per hour and banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeders.
In the annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly, Quinn said state law should prohibit lawmakers from voting on issues where they have a conflict of interest. He urged the Legislature to impose the same kind of ethics requirements on itself that it previously approved for judges and administration officials in a state that has seen its past two governors jailed on corruption charges.
But lawmakers weren’t keen on what’s perceived as a direct challenge to the Legislature’s authority, and even government watchdogs pointed out it’s a thorny issue that isn’t as clear cut as it seems.
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