McCombie Calls for Support on Ethics Reform Measure

House Minority Leader Tony McCombie presented an ethics reform proposal during a subject matter hearing today in the Illinois House Ethics and Elections Committee. McCombie’s legislation, House Bill 4119, would prohibit elected officials from using political campaign donations to pay for criminal defense. Leader McCombie stressed the importance of the measure, an unfortunate reminder of just how much progress the State of Illinois must make amid Ethics Awareness Month.

The bill would close a loophole that has enabled bad actors, including former Speaker Mike Madigan, to use millions of dollars in funds from his campaign coffer, ‘Friends of Michael Madigan,’ to pay for legal fees as he fights federal corruption and racketeering charges. During the hearing today, McCombie called HB4119 a commonsense measure.

“We have not passed any ethics legislation this General Assembly and I would argue any significant ethics reform since I was elected in 2017,” said McCombie. “This is not acceptable, and it is our responsibility that a lack of action does not continue.”

In light of the ongoing parade of corruption trials of elected officials and continued lack of movement on any number of House Republican ethics reform proposals, including HB4119, McCombie urged action this spring.

“We have watched investigations, arrests, trials, and convictions come and go for decades, and this chamber has an opportunity to be the leaders on this topic,” concluded McCombie.

The intent HB4119 is targeted to criminal offenses and civil misconduct, discrimination, and harassment.