Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Calls for reform, getting louder

The calls for campaign finance reform in Illinois are getting louder.

The Illinois Reform Commission, a special panel assembled by Gov. Pat Quinn to propose reform legislation, recommended today that the state enact campaign contribution limits and a host of other campaign finance, accountability and transparency measures.

The 15-member Commission called on legislative leaders to establish a set of campaign contribution limits similar to the limits that have been in place on the federal level for decades. Under the proposal, individuals would be restricted to giving $2,400 to any candidate, political party or political action committee. State political parties, corporations, unions and political action committees would be restricted by different sets of limits.

The panel also recommended:
- Giving the State Board of Elections greater enforcement powers,

- “Real Time” campaign finance reporting, so that every large campaign donation is made public year round,

- Creating new disclosure requirements independent expenditures,

- Banning lobbyists from donating to campaigns,

- Establishing a public financing pilot program for judicial elections/campaigns,

- Updating the state’s Freedom of Information Act to increase transparency and ensure the public has access to governmental records.

The Commission said it released the preliminary recommendations Tuesday to allow legislators and the public ample time to consider them.

To view all of the Commission’s interim recommendations, please visit

And when you're ready to make your own call, the number is 800-719-3020.

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