McCombie Calls for Reform Amid Ethics Awareness Month

With the two-year anniversary of former Speaker Mike Madigan’s indictment coinciding with national ethics awareness month, House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (Savanna) is using the opportunity to advance ethics reform in the Illinois House this spring.

Leader McCombie has continued to advocate for reform as federal indictments have rocked the state, and the majority party has refused to step up to tighten existing loopholes in current law or strength existing statutes. To address some of those shortcomings and restore faith in government, McCombie has filed a measure, HB4119, to prohibit elected officials from using political campaign donations to pay for criminal defense. 

Madigan, the longest serving state House speaker in modern U.S. history, was indicted on federal racketeering and bribery charges in March 2022. He was set to stand trial in federal court in April 2024, but the trial has been pushed back to October 8, 2024. To date, he has used millions in campaign funds to pay for his legal defense.

“The silence from Democrat lawmakers, many of which supported Speaker Madigan, is deafening,” said McCombie. “This seems like a commonsense approach to ensure campaign financing is used as intended. This is about accountability, and we must hold elected officials to a higher standard.”

House Republicans have fought an uphill battle in the legislature for greater ethics reform. McCombie’s bill is just one measure out of a dozen that Republican lawmakers will continue their advocacy for this year in the Illinois House.

“This is ethics awareness month and in Illinois, we need to be more aware of the ways we can and should improve our ethics laws,” finished McCombie.

Leader McCombie’s HB4119 is scheduled for an Ethics and Elections Committee hearing in the Illinois House next week.