The State Ethics Commission interprets and enforces the State Government Ethics Act and portions of the Lobbying Law. Members of the eight-member bipartisan Commission are appointed by the Governor (four members) and by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate (two members) and the Speaker of the House (two members).
- The Ethics Act requires that certain State officials file Statements of Economic Interest and attend ethics education.
- The Ethics Act also establishes conflict of interest standards, a ban against the acceptance of certain gifts by covered officials, and restricts the use of official positions for private gain.
- Members of regional Transportation Advisory Committees are also required to file Statements of Economic Interest and real estate disclosure forms.
- The Ethics Commission does not have jurisdiction over local government officials.
- The Lobbying Law requires that lobbyists and entities that contract with lobbyists ("lobbyist principals") register and report lobbying expenditures to the Secretary of State's Office. It also restricts gifts to State officials from lobbyists and lobbyist principals, and imposes a six-month "cooling off period" on former elected State officials.
The Commission provides informal and formal advice on the Ethics Act and Lobbying Law and investigates complaints alleging violations of those laws.