CHICAGO – June 16, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that would prevent state officials from putting their name or likeness on billboards or electronic signs paid for with taxpayer dollars.
“Government belongs to the people,” said Governor Quinn. “When state government gets the word out about a program or service that will help people, it should not be an excuse for officials to promote themselves.”
Senate Bill 1344 adds billboards and electronic billboards to an existing law that prohibits state elected officials from using their names, likenesses and voices in television, radio, newspaper and magazine advertisements purchased as part of state program awareness efforts.
Under current law, state officials are also barred from using their names and likenesses on bumper stickers, buttons, magnets and other promotional items.
The legislation was sponsored by State Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) and State Representative Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst). The bill overwhelmingly passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support. It takes effect immediately.
“This is a common sense measure that’s long overdue,” said Representative Nybo. “Taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned money treated more responsibly by their representatives who are elected to serve the people, not their own personal interests.”
Today’s event took place at the Cermak Toll Plaza on the Tri-State Tollway, which previously displayed the name of Illinois’ former Governor.