ROCKFORD — All elected officials in Illinois would be required to wear body cameras while conducting public business if a bill sponsored by a Machesney Park Republican becomes law.

While the intent of the bill is to reduce corruption at the state and local levels, state Rep. John Cabello acknowledges his idea has virtually no chance of winning approval.

“We see the dealings going on in Chicago with some of the wiretaps and some of the corruption that’s been going on for decades,” Cabello said. “We hear of the state lawmakers that get themselves into trouble with bribes and so on and so forth. So, I just thought that since the state was looking at making all police officers wear body cameras, I figured this might be a good way to have records of what lawmakers are doing.”

House Bill 3447 provides the State Board of Elections shall develop rules and requirements for the use of body cameras by the state's public officials.

Recordings made with the use of a body camera worn by a public official may be used as evidence in any administrative, judicial, legislative or disciplinary proceeding. The recordings would not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

The bill includes city and county officials as well as those elected to state office. Public officials found to be in violation of the law would be subject to fines.

“If they want to be an elected official, they should be following the law,” Cabello said. “If they don’t want to, I think they ultimately shouldn’t be an elected official. We would find ways of being able to remove them.”

Cabello, who is a veteran Rockford police officer, said his body camera proposal is not an attempt to reinvent the wheel.

"It’s going to be the same as what law enforcement will have to do," he said. "There’s not going to be one person going through all of the recordings. It’s more of if someone makes an allegation or a complaint, you’ll at least have some footage to go through.”

The proposal is a unique but costly approach to weeding out corruption, said state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford.

“If it’s limited to certain groups of officials, that could limit the cost, but it could be extremely expensive,” Sosnowski said. “Then of course you have all of the backroom support and infrastructure as far as recording and maintaining the records and the servers and those folks to maintain that. It would probably be a very costly endeavor and I think it would be very difficult to enforce when they actually were using it.”

State Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, said he's willing to consider Cabello's proposal with some reservations.

"Before we spend lots of taxpayer dollars on putting cameras on 177 lawmakers and thousands of other public officials around the state, I wonder if Representative Cabello would be interested in a pilot body camera project," Stadelman said.

State Rep. Maurice West, D-Rockford, declined to comment on the bill.

Although Cabello said the proposal has generated positive feedback from his constituents, he doesn’t think the idea will gain traction in Springfield.

“I think there will be some elected officials that will support it but I doubt it’s even going to get a committee hearing in Springfield,” Cabello said. “The majority party, they won’t want to hear this. I can’t see (House Speaker Mike) Madigan letting this see the light of day.”

Still, the idea has merit, Cabello said.

“It’s time we start getting public trust back for the elected officials and the only way that’s going to happen is we have to root out the corruption,” he said.