McDermed bill would bar Madigan from holding state party post
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) would be barred from serving as chairman of Illinois' Democratic Party if a bill introduced by Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) becomes law, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.
House Bill 4097 would prevent any member of the General Assembly from “concurrently (serving) as the chairperson for a statewide political party.”
According to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR), nine politicians double-dip out of the 100 Republican and Democrat state party chairs in the United States.
Madigan, the longest-serving House speaker in U.S. history, is the only legislative leader who is also a state party chairman. He was elected speaker in 1983.
McDermed's bill comes amid a common Republican theme: Madigan is to blame for much of Illinois’ money problems.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has said the 75-year-old Madigan's part-time job as a lawyer can also present a conflict of interest, Reboot Illinois (RI) reported.
Many politicians continue their legal work when taking on roles as legislators, and many states ask that they disclose their clients to prevent a conflict of interest. Some states have stricter disclosure laws than others, RI reports.
According to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 26 states require legislators to disclose their clients' identities when taking money that exceeds their state salaries.
Illinois requires legislators to disclose the nature of legal services only when they exceed $5,000.
Madigan is not the only politician holding a part-time job outside of his legislative duties. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and four other House members work as part-time lawyers or hold several positions at a law firm, according to RI.
Some legislators, like Florida Republican Senate President Joe Negron, choose to resign from their law work when taking on a political leadership role, RI noted.