Durkin Calls For Madigan To Step Down, Seeks Vote On New Speaker Of The House

ILLINOIS — Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin is calling for House Speaker Michael Madigan to resign immediately and is filing a resolution for a new vote for Speaker of the House.

Durkin said in a statement the “federal charges outlines in the ComEd prosecution highlight a scheme solely for the benefit of Speaker Madigan.”

He said that “Madigan is unable to execute his responsibilities as Speaker of the Illinois House.”

The documents from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois don’t name Madigan, but note “Public Official A,” who benefited from schemes to give associates jobs and bribes, is the Illinois House Speaker.

“I call for the immediate resignation of Speaker Madigan from the Illinois House of Representatives, and will be filing a resolution to have the House Chamber vote on a new Speaker immediately,” Durkin said.

Messages seeking comment from Madigan weren’t immediately returned. Madigan has not be charged with a crime.

For there to be an immediate vote on a new speaker were Madigan to either step down from that position or to resign entirely, there would need to be a special session called by either the speaker, the Senate President or Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker hasn’t committed to calling a special session for ethics reforms when recently asked and has not called for Madigan to resign. The governor has said that if the corruption allegations are true, Madigan needs to go.

Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, didn’t return messages seeking comment. Harmon had previously said: “the admission of wrongdoing by ComEd is enormously troubling and will likely require a legislative response. I’m continuing to watch and gather more information from this unfolding federal investigation.”

State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, told WMAY radio Thursday morning there should be a special session for ethics reforms and said believes there can be easy bipartisan support found for a variety of issues. He said the speaker should step down if he’s indicted.

State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, said if there’s a special session, it should be all encompassing.

“The House Speaker is under criminal investigation, our schools are dealing with the very-real threat of lawsuits, and the Governor is shuffling around the people responsible for the problematic handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” Schifmpf said. “In short, our state is in crisis, and the members of the legislature should be at the Capitol working to deal with these very serious issues.”

Unless there is a special session, state lawmakers won’t be back in Springfield until after the November election.

The Center Square – Greg Bishop

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