GRAYSLAKE — State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) offers the following statement after further news of a bribery scheme that implicates close allies of House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.

“The days of transactional politics have to end. This type of behavior that promotes compliance through rewards and punishment has been going on for far too long. The end starts with the House speaker stepping down from his position. This isn’t an issue of legal or illegal, it’s an issue of right and wrong – it’s about ethics, government responsibility and restoring the public trust.

“We can’t solve our state’s structural problems until we restore faith in government. That faith has been shaken, in part, because so many in government stood by and allowed these problems to fester.  We need to stand up and demand this end. To say, with one voice, that we will accept nothing less than real change. And that change starts by demanding the speaker step down.

We desperately need transformational leadership in Illinois in order to solve the difficult challenges we face and someone who will uphold his or her ethical duties as a member of the General Assembly, a state leader and a person.”

Bush has urged the speaker to step down since July 17, following the initial investigation into the years-long bribery scheme. 

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