Batinick Renews Call for Madigan to Resign, Lawmakers to Return to Springfield

CHICAGO—With Federal Prosecutors filing federal bribery charges against Commonwealth Edison Company (“ComEd”) and implicating Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) is renewing his call for Madigan to resign and demanding lawmakers return to Springfield to pass comprehensive ethics reform.

Today’s charges come after a yearlong corruption investigation into state and local governments. ComEd has agreed to resolve the investigation through a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office, which include paying a $200 million fine. Through that agreement ComEd, the largest electric utility company in Illinois, has admitted it arranged jobs, subcontracts and pay-offs for political associates of Mike Madigan.

“I was the first elected official to call for the Speaker to resign and that sentiment rings even truer today,” said Rep. Batinick.  “If we are going to truly root out corruption in our system, it starts from the top down. Elected officials need to be held the most accountable and with today’s charges, it is clear that the time has come for the Speaker to answer to the people of Illinois.”

In 2016, Rep. Batinick worked tirelessly against a ComEd bailout bill, SB2814, which required a statewide rate hike to prevent the closure of two nuclear power plants in Illinois. The rate increase provided for in SB2814 was expected to generate more than $200 million a year over the next ten years, but was the key factor in the federal probe against ComEd.  For Batinick, this bailout was nothing more than a politically-connected coalition of Energy Industry players rushing through a complicated bill to force electric rate increases throughout Illinois. In 2019, he filed legislation, HB3987, to eliminate the bailout, which was never called by the Speaker for consideration.

The Representative is calling for lawmakers to return to Springfield to work on a comprehensive ethics reform package. “As lawmakers, we need to get back to Springfield and adopt stronger ethics laws.  While the sense of urgency to make this change has been lost on the majority party for far too long, today’s federal charges reinforce what the Republican caucus has been supporting for years: we need change in Illinois and it must come soon.”

An ethics reform package filed by the House Republicans last year was never given consideration in the House of Representatives.  A list of that legislation is here.