HB 1 and SB 222
May 17, 2007
In This Issue:
HB 1 and SB 222
Two major reform proposals have cleared one chamber, only to stall in the other.
HB 1 is a ban on pay-to-play contracting. It would enhance disclosure of campaign giving by bidders for state contracts, and ban giving by contractors to the statewide constitutional officer who oversees the contract. The measure passed out of the House 116-0 and now has 37 sponsors in the Senate, but the bill is still in Rules. Apparently, some in Senate leadership think that "bribery is already illegal" and so this bill isn't needed. Please help them to understand the serious perception problem that Illinois' statewide officers now face. This bill deserves a vote.
SB 222 is a public financing option for judicial candidates. As special interest funding for judicial elections has exploded into the millions, and more and more voters say they think contributions influence rulings, reformers and bar groups have come together around SB 222 as a vital step to insulate judicial candidates from the campaign finance rat race. The measure passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support and has almost two dozen bipartisan sponsors in the House. It has been assigned to committee (for the first time) but no hearing has been scheduled and its chances of seeing daylight this Spring grow dimmer by the (well) day.
Both of these bills need help to move forward. We ask that you respectfully call Senate leadership at (217) 782-2728 and urge a vote on HB 1. Then, respectfully call House leadership at (217) 782-5350 and urge a vote on SB 222. Reform can happen, but only if you, the public, demands it.