In response to public outcry over corruption in the halls of power in Illinois, the new Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn created the Illinois Reform Commission as one of his first official acts. The mission of the Commission includes improving the way Illinois law addresses ethics in state government.
One of the topics that the Commission is examining is revamping the state’s campaign finance laws to finally include contribution limits. The Brennan Center for Justice submitted testimony to the Commission for a public hearing on Monday, February 23, 2009. The testimony notes that Illinois is among five states that lack any contribution limits. The testimony also explains the current contours of Supreme Court campaign finance jurisprudence, which holds that reasonable contribution limits are legal and that corporate and union contributions can be banned. The Brennan Center hopes that Illinois capitalizes on this moment of public embarrassment to reform its outdated laws.