The House Ethics Committee has met to consider Rep. Shannon McMillan’s failure to disclose that she had a conflict of interest before voting against a bill, and decided not to take any formal action against her. “The Ethics Committee met to consider the ethics review publicly requested by Rep. Shannon McMillan,” Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, told the House just now; he’s the chairman of the House Ethics Committee. “The committee has reviewed her request and circumstances, and takes no formal action in light of Rep. McMillan’s voluntary disclosure of a potential conflict.” He added, “We conclude with a caution to the body to thoughtfully consider and declare conflicts to the body prior to voting.”
McMillan cast one of just two votes in the House against HB 510, which would remove a special exemption dating back to 1939 that protects elected officials and legislators from having their wages garnished due to state court rulings – without disclosing that she faces numerous court judgments, including at least one in which garnishing of her legislative wages was blocked because of the special exemption. House ethics rules require such disclosures. A week later, McMillan asked the House for forgiveness, revealed her conflict of interest and requested an ethics committee investigation into her own actions.
Though HB 510 passed the House overwhelmingly, it died in the Senate without a hearing amid a dispute between the Senate and House over an unrelated bill. McMillan, R-Silverton, has announced she’ll run for a third term in the House; she faces a challenge from Republican Shauna Hillman of Wallace in the primary, with the winner facing Democrat Jessica Chilcott of Sandpoint in November.