As the scandal surrounding Roland Burris’ appointment to the United States Senate deepens, I join with my Republican legislative colleagues in renewing the call to allow Illinois citizens to choose their U.S. Senator through a special election.

Senate Bill 285 has been introduced to ensure all future U.S. Senate seat vacancies in Illinois would be filled by a special election, within 115 days of the seat being vacated. The bill would also enact a one-time only special election to coincide with the consolidated April 7, 2009, election and a special general election to be scheduled for May 26, 2009.

Senator Burris clearly has put Illinois in a “trick box” here with statements that contradict each other, particularly about the “pay-to-play” scandal that resulted in the impeachment, conviction and removal from office of former Governor Rod Blagojevich. If we are truly going to move Illinois forward, we have to eliminate corruption and put forward laws and leaders who rise above that. Until we do that, we are going to have a very difficult time attracting business investment in our state, which is the real solution to our economic problems.

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