CHICAGO – December 9, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today signed into law a ground-breaking campaign finance bill that imposes Illinois’ first-ever contribution limits on candidates, political parties and political action committees. The new law also makes campaign contribution and expenditure information more open and available to the public.
The signing of this important campaign finance legislation caps Governor Quinn’s “Year of Reform,” which includes passage of other tough ethics laws and implementation of government reforms in the areas of appointments, freedom of information, governmental and pension ethics, procurement and accountability.
“The people of Illinois have demanded reform and greater responsibility from its elected officials and this law will help accomplish those worthy goals,” said Governor Quinn. “This new law requires politicians to be more candid, open and accountable than ever before. It is a crucial and important move in the right direction.”
Senate Bill 1466, which was sponsored by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), amends the Illinois Election Code. For the first-time ever, major political contributions will now be limited by law. In addition, the new law requires more frequent disclosure of large campaign contributions to the public.
The new law also creates the Campaign Finance Reform Task Force, which will study the impact of contribution limits and make recommendations following the 2012 and 2014 elections. The task force, which will consist of 11 members appointed by the Governor and the Illinois General Assembly, will also do an indepth study on the feasibility of implementing public financing for statewide, legislative and judicial offices and make recommendations by September 30, 2012. A final report will be issued by March 10, 2015.
Signing the campaign finance reform law is the latest in a series of government ethics reforms put into action by the Quinn Administration this year.
“Compared to a year ago, Illinois has made tremendous strides toward changing the old ‘business-as-usual’ culture by strengthening government ethics and operations. Yes, there is more work to be done. But the residents of Illinois are being heard and they can be proud of the changes that have already been made on their behalf,” said Governor Quinn.
Working with the General Assembly and reform advocates throughout Illinois, Governor Quinn’s “Year of Reform” agenda includes: establishing strict ethics and codes of conduct for members of State boards and commissions appointed by the governor; strengthening the Illinois Freedom of Information Act; improving pension and governmental ethics; making procurement more fair and open; and improving government transparency with a new accountability portal.
Those attending the bill signing ceremony with Governor Quinn included: George Ranney, CHANGE Illinois! Co-Chair, President and CEO of Chicago Metropolis 2020; Sheila Simon, Illinois Reform Commission; Cynthia Canary, Director, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform; Dawn Clark Netsch, CHANGE Illinois! and Illinois Campaign for Political Reform; and Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park).