Monday, December 29, 2008
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More than 100 new Illinois laws on Jan. 1

Ethics reform tops the list

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[December 29, 2008]  Over 100 new laws will take effect on Jan. 1, including a package of long-awaited ethics, contracting and fiscal reform measures, legislation targeting drunken drivers, and a measure that will create a better system of tracking domestic violence offenders who have violated an order of protection.

CivicOne of the most important pieces of legislation approved by the General Assembly in 2008 was the approval of the "pay-to-play" reforms contained in House Bill 824.

House Bill 824 bans state contractors from giving campaign contributions to the statewide officeholder responsible for awarding their contracts, as well as contributions to declared candidates for the statewide office awarding the contracts. The measure will apply to all contracts totaling $50,000 or more.

The new law will require businesses with contracts or pending bids to register with the State Board of Elections. This includes registering affiliated entities, owners and key executives, and contractors are obliged to notify legislators they donate to that they are registered with the State Board of Elections.

The State Board of Elections will be required to maintain a searchable database of all the names of contractors, affiliated individuals and entities. Those found in violation of the law could have their contracts voided, and incomplete or falsified filings with the State Board of Elections would be considered a criminal offense, punishable by a fine.

For a listing of all new state laws, click here.

[Text from file received from Illinois Senate Republicans]

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