U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., are joining forces to target the problem. They proposed two pieces of bipartisan legislation on Monday.
The State Ethics Law Protection Act would allow states like Illinois to ban pay-to-play practices in highway contracting. The Honest Services Restoration Act would restore the honest services statute to prevent elected officials from using their offices for personal gain.
"Both of these bills will dramatically reduce the opportunities to do the wrong thing and increase the incentives to do the right thing," Quigley said.
"We especially need to conquer the corruption problem, especially here in the state of illinois. We are long seen and epitomized by the Blagojevich trial as a state that has turned into a corrupt circus," Kirk said, adding that a Justice Department study ranks Illinois as the sixth most corrupt state in the country. Florida ranks first.