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Local News

Local House members back bill addressing voting rights, money in politics

Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville (left) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger R-Channahon (right) speak to the media March 26, 2018, at Rock Run Rookery in Joliet.
Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville (left) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger R-Channahon (right) speak to the media March 26, 2018, at Rock Run Rookery in Joliet.

Two local Democratic members of Congress announced their support for the House of Representatives passing the sweeping For the People Act, which tackles the role of money in politics, voting rights and more.

The bill addresses three main issues. It would expand conflict-of-interest laws and divestment requirements for members of Congress, such as preventing them from serving on corporate boards and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns.

The bill also would require the disclosure of large monetary contributions to campaigns and create a matching system for small donations aimed at reducing the influence of special interests.

Finally, it would institute nationwide automatic voter registration, restore voting rights to those convicted of felonies after serving their sentences and restore the Voting Rights Act. It would prohibit voter roll purges and end partisan gerrymandering.

“Our political system has become increasingly focused on the powerful, drowning out the voices, experiences and needs of families,” U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, said in a news release. “Today the new majority said loud and clear – not anymore.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said he was “proud” to vote for what he called a “historic” bill that would provide essential reforms to the American political system, reduce corruption, increase transparency and protect the right to vote.

“The American people deserve a system of government that works for all Americans,” Foster said in a statement. “This legislation is a vital first step to returning to the fundamental principles of our democracy and a government by the people, for the people.”

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