October 21, 2016 •

Chicago Board of Ethics Makes New Rule for Acceptance of Cubs Tickets

Last week, the executive director of the Chicago Board of Ethics told the mayor and aldermen they could buy Cubs playoff tickets at face value provided they went to the game themselves and were publicly acknowledged by having their names […]

cubs-ticketsLast week, the executive director of the Chicago Board of Ethics told the mayor and aldermen they could buy Cubs playoff tickets at face value provided they went to the game themselves and were publicly acknowledged by having their names announced or displayed.

A new ethics interpretation, however, will take effect before the Cubs face the Dodgers in game six of the seven-game series. In a revised memorandum, the Board of Ethics said the elected officials may accept the tickets at face value only if they perform a ceremonial duty or action and there is a clear and direct connection between the official’s attendance and performance of such ceremonial duty or action.

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September 27, 2016 •

Contribution Limits Lifted in Illinois Comptroller Race

Contribution limits have been lifted in the Illinois comptroller race between incumbent Leslie Munger and Democratic challenger Susana Mendoza after Munger’s husband loaned $260,000 to her campaign. State law stipulates any contribution exceeding $250,000 to a candidate’s own race abolishes […]

IllinoisContribution limits have been lifted in the Illinois comptroller race between incumbent Leslie Munger and Democratic challenger Susana Mendoza after Munger’s husband loaned $260,000 to her campaign.

State law stipulates any contribution exceeding $250,000 to a candidate’s own race abolishes the limits for all candidates in the race.

Gov. Bruce Rauner appointed Munger last year following Judy Baar Topinka’s death. The winner of the November election will finish the remainder of the four-year term.

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July 8, 2016 •

Illinois Lawmakers Wrap Up Spring Business with Short-term Budget Deal

After failing to pass a budget before the end of its spring session in May, the 98th Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its business on Thursday, June 30. While concerns over the state budget were not completely alleviated, lawmakers were […]

Illinois State CapitolAfter failing to pass a budget before the end of its spring session in May, the 98th Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its business on Thursday, June 30.

While concerns over the state budget were not completely alleviated, lawmakers were able to pass a short-term budget deal to keep basic services running.

Gov. Bruce Rauner believes further compromise and budget reform could occur in the 60 days following the November election when legislators will be more comfortable tackling tougher issues.

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October 23, 2015 •

Chicago Labor Unions Representing City Employees Not Bound by City Pay-to-Play Restrictions

According to the Chicago Board of Ethics, unions representing city employees should not be bound by the city’s pay-to-play limits. Current campaign finance law bars vendors from contributing an aggregate amount exceeding $1,500 to any elected city official during a […]

Chicago Board of EthicsAccording to the Chicago Board of Ethics, unions representing city employees should not be bound by the city’s pay-to-play limits. Current campaign finance law bars vendors from contributing an aggregate amount exceeding $1,500 to any elected city official during a reporting year.

The Board ruled a collective bargaining agreement with the city is not the same as an agreement between the city and a private vendor providing goods or services because a labor union is not doing or seeking to do business with the city.

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August 25, 2015 •

Illinois Gov. Signs Bill to Shine Light on Independent Expenditures

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed Senate Bill 248, increasing the transparency of political spending. The bill requires political committees making independent expenditures of $1,000 or more file a report within five business of the expenditure. If the expenditure is made […]

IllinoisGov. Bruce Rauner has signed Senate Bill 248, increasing the transparency of political spending. The bill requires political committees making independent expenditures of $1,000 or more file a report within five business of the expenditure.

If the expenditure is made during the 60-day period before an election, the report must be filed within two business days.

The bill, now Public Act 99-0437, goes into effect on January 1, 2016.

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August 17, 2015 •

New Jurisdiction Added to Our Website!

The number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients. In that […]

PeoriaThe number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients.

In that effort, we have recently added another abridged jurisdiction to our website. These entries, condensed due to the limited number of relevant local laws, provide the core information our clients need for their government relations work.

The new jurisdiction is: Peoria, Illinois

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July 31, 2015 •

Chicago City Council Passes Ethics Amendment

On July 29, City Council passed ordinance O2015-4685, amending the city ethics code. The amendment requires the Office of the Legislative Inspector General (OLIG) to deliver all evidence collected during an investigation to the Board of Ethics before the board […]

Fasces_on_City_Hall_ChicagoOn July 29, City Council passed ordinance O2015-4685, amending the city ethics code.

The amendment requires the Office of the Legislative Inspector General (OLIG) to deliver all evidence collected during an investigation to the Board of Ethics before the board decides if city ethics rules have been violated. This would include the names and addresses of complainants and confidential testimony.

As the board will provide collected evidence to the accused, there is concern the change will have a chilling effect on potential whistleblowers, leave witnesses open to possible retaliation, and weaken the OLIG’s ability to enforce the ethics ordinance.

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June 3, 2015 •

Illinois Legislature to Remain in Continuous Session After Failure to Pass Budget

The 99th Illinois General Assembly adjourned its spring session on May 31, 2015. Pursuant to House Joint Resolution 85 and upon the call of the Speaker and Senate President, both chambers will remain in continuous session after failing to reach […]

IllinoisThe 99th Illinois General Assembly adjourned its spring session on May 31, 2015. Pursuant to House Joint Resolution 85 and upon the call of the Speaker and Senate President, both chambers will remain in continuous session after failing to reach a conclusion on a balanced budget by Sunday’s scheduled adjournment deadline.

The House stands adjourned until Thursday, June 4; the Senate stands adjourned until Tuesday, June 9. Legislators must work quickly to agree on a balanced budget before the new fiscal year begins on July 1.

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April 17, 2015 •

Deadline Extended for Illinois Lobbyist Expenditure Reports

The Illinois Secretary of State Index Department has extended the filing deadline for the Lobbyist Expenditure Report covering the period of April 1 to April 15, 2015. Due to an ongoing service issue on the website, the Lobbyist Registration and […]

Illinois state sealThe Illinois Secretary of State Index Department has extended the filing deadline for the Lobbyist Expenditure Report covering the period of April 1 to April 15, 2015.

Due to an ongoing service issue on the website, the Lobbyist Registration and Reporting System has been inaccessible to some users.

The April 20 deadline has been extended to April 22, 2015, at 11:59 p.m.

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April 15, 2015 •

Special Election Set in Illinois

A federal judge in Illinois signed a consent decree Tuesday scheduling a special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, who resigned last month amid ethics investigations. Judicial approval was necessary to set the election date because Illinois election […]

Aaron SchockA federal judge in Illinois signed a consent decree Tuesday scheduling a special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, who resigned last month amid ethics investigations.

Judicial approval was necessary to set the election date because Illinois election law conflicts with federal voting law.

A primary election will be held July 7 and the general election will follow on Sept. 10.

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March 23, 2015 •

Congressman Aaron Schock to Resign Amid Ethics Investigations

Rep. Aaron Schock is resigning his seat at the end of the month in the wake of a congressional ethics investigation and looming federal investigation. The ethics investigation will focus on his use of taxpayer money, including mileage reimbursements from […]

Rep. Aaron SchockRep. Aaron Schock is resigning his seat at the end of the month in the wake of a congressional ethics investigation and looming federal investigation. The ethics investigation will focus on his use of taxpayer money, including mileage reimbursements from a car paid for by his campaign account.

Federal prosecutors in Illinois will focus on the mileage reimbursements as well as travel paid for by donors and in-kind contributions never reported.

Gov. Bruce Rauner must set a special election date within five days of Schock’s resignation at the end of the month; the congressional seat must be filled within 120 days.

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February 25, 2015 •

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Heads to April Runoff

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to garner enough votes in Tuesday’s consolidated primary to avoid heading to a runoff election. Emanuel required more than 50 percent of the vote to win the election outright. Although he finished first in the […]

Rahm EmanuelChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to garner enough votes in Tuesday’s consolidated primary to avoid heading to a runoff election. Emanuel required more than 50 percent of the vote to win the election outright.

Although he finished first in the five candidate field with just over 45 percent of the vote, the city will now hold a runoff mayoral election for the first time in history.

The runoff is scheduled for April 7, and the mayor will face Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

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January 19, 2015 •

Illinois Governor Signs New Executive Order

Governor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 15-09 last week, tightening ethical requirements for all state employees. The order closes the revolving door for executive branch and state agency employees by prohibiting them from negotiating for a new position with a […]

IllinoisGovernor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 15-09 last week, tightening ethical requirements for all state employees. The order closes the revolving door for executive branch and state agency employees by prohibiting them from negotiating for a new position with a lobbyist or lobbying entity while still employed.

Similarly, a former employee may not accept a position as a paid lobbyist or with a lobbying entity for one year after leaving his or her paid position. Furthermore, state employees, their spouses, or immediate family members living therewith may not solicit or knowingly accept any gift from prohibited sources. The order also expands what state employees must disclose on their statements of economic interest.

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December 5, 2014 •

Illinois House Adjourns Sine Die

The Illinois House of Representatives adjourned its two-year legislative session sine die on Wednesday, December 3. Some state business will be left until Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner and a new General Assembly take office in January. It is possible, however, […]

Illinois State CapitolThe Illinois House of Representatives adjourned its two-year legislative session sine die on Wednesday, December 3.

Some state business will be left until Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner and a new General Assembly take office in January. It is possible, however, for outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn to call a special session to force a vote on legislation increasing the minimum wage before he leaves office.

The Senate did not formally adjourn and will sit in session on January 13.

Photo of the Illinois Capitol Building by Daniel Schwen on Wikimedia Commons.

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