Statement by CHANGE Illinois! in opposition to House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 3722
Delivered to the Illinois House Elections and Campaign Reform Committee
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following many months of debate within the General Assembly and with members of the public in 2009, the General Assembly passed and the Governor signed the state's first comprehensive set of limits on campaign contributions by parties, legislative leaders, individuals, corporations, unions and political action committees.
The amendment before you today represents a significant change from that limits system. If enacted, it could open the door to many campaigns run without limits.
As an outspoken proponent and active participant in the drafting of the limits law, the CHANGE Illinois! coalition believes it would be a mistake to rush through a revision of this magnitude. An issue of this importance deserves the public review and scrutiny that was part of the enactment of the 2009 law.
Further, the 2009 law created the Illinois Campaign Finance Reform Task Force, a bi-partisan panel that has been meeting for a year and reviewing implementation of the limits, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2011. The Task Force was specifically created to evaluate this kind of proposal and give legislators recommendations after careful consideration, including hearing from experts as well as members of the general public. It is the logical place to begin a discussion of how court decisions impact the limits system and how best to respond.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case was issued after Illinois passed the campaign contribution limits law, and its repercussions, including the new phenomenon of independent expenditure groups, merit reflection and study, not reckless reaction. Campaign finance regulation is important to all Illinoisans and deserves thoughtful consideration, not a hurried end-of-session effort.
The above is a statement signed by Peter Bensinger, Deborah Harrington, and George A. Ranney, Co-Chairs of CHANGE Illinois!
About CHANGE Illinois!
CHANGE Illinois! is a growing coalition of civic, business, labor, professional, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and individuals. The coalition as a whole supports expanding the new campaign contribution limits law to include contributions by legislative leaders and political parties to candidates in the general election, and it supports increased transparency and public involvement in the redistricting process. For more information, visit www.ChangeIL.org.
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