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February 7, 2000

Governor Proposes Legislation To Prohibit State Employee Political Contributions

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today proposed draft legislation to ban state employees from soliciting contributions for his political fund.

In February of 1999, in one of his first acts as governor, Ryan prohibited state employee fundraising for Citizens for Ryan.

"Last year I fulfilled a campaign pledge by issuing Executive Order Number 2 to help promote public confidence in state government," Ryan said. "While I think the message has gone out to all employees, I want to solidify this position for future administrations with this legislation. I urge the General Assembly to pass this bill."

Ryan said a statutory ban on employee contributions would also remove any appearance of undue influence on state employees to solicit political contributions on his behalf at any time.

The governor's executive order withstood questions about violating constitutional rights to freely express one's views in the political process. After issuing the executive order, the campaign has returned all contributions from employees under the governor's direction.

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 legislation introduced today codifies that executive order and specifically prohibits an employee under the jurisdiction of the Governor from soliciting contributions "regardless of time, place or manner of solicitation."

The measure was introduced by Republican Leader Lee Daniels, R-Elmhurst, and will be assigned to the Rules Committee.


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