City Council Passes Ethics Reform Ordinance

Chicago City Council

Chicago City Council

On Thursday, the Chicago City Council passed an ethics ordinance introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel which will create a level of transparency unprecedented in the history of Chicago’s city government.

“I promised during the campaign to reform city government and change the way we do business at City Hall,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Today’s ethics ordinance will rein in the influence of lobbyists and ensure everyone in City government is working for Chicago’s taxpayers.”

On his first day in office, Mayor Emanuel signed six ethics Executive Orders aimed at increasing transparency and accountability across the City. This ethics ordinance strengthens limits on lobbying activities through:

Searchable Online Registration and Reporting: Creation of a searchable online system for registration and reporting.

Gifts: Adding the term “lobbyist” to those potential gift-givers who are limited to $50 per single, non-cash gift, and $100 in cumulative gifts per calendar year.

Loans: Adding lobbyists to the list of persons that City employees, officials or their businesses are prohibited from applying for or receiving loans from.

Campaign Contributions: Amending semi-annual activity report form to require lobbyists to disclose all campaign contributions to City elected officials and City employees running for office.

Revolving Door: Codifying the post-employment revolving door provisions in Mayor Emanuel’s May 16 Executive Order, which bars employees from lobbying the City after leaving City employment.

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