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February 29, 2000

Governor's Proposal To Ban Employee Fundraising Passes House

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today commended Illinois House members for passing his legislation to ban state employees from soliciting contributions for his political fund.

House Bill 4650, which codifies Executive Order Number 2 and prohibits employees under the Governor's office from soliciting for his campaign, passed the House 107-1-2. In one of his first acts as governor, Ryan prohibited state employee fundraising for Citizens for Ryan.

"I applaud my friends in the General Assembly for supporting this bill and taking steps to eliminate even the mere appearance of a conflict of interest, undue influence or any impropriety that may arise when political contributions are solicited by public employees," Ryan said.

The governor's executive order withstood questions about violating constitutional rights to freely express one's views in the political process. Ryan required all state agencies, boards and commissions under the governor's control to develop personnel policies that mirror the intent of the executive order.

The executive order says that "...No state employee will be asked to make a financial contribution to the political campaign committee organized for the benefit of the governor and...no state officer or employee may solicit financial contributions for said political campaign committee."

Further, the executive order prevents state employees from soliciting campaign contributions from others "whether during regular working hours or not and whether or not on state property."

The sponsors of House Bill 4650 are Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Troy; Rep. Michael Boland, D-East Moline; Rep. Timothy Schmitz, R-Batavia; Rep. Bill O'Connor, R-Riverside; and Rep. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon.


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