Our Reform Achievements
Since 1997, our organization has worked to empower the public through legislative advocacy, legal action and direct engagement with the media and public.
In 1998, In collaboration with policymakers and key stakeholders, we were successful in the passage of the 1998 Gift Ban Act, the 2002 Inspector Misconduct Act, the 2003 State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, and the 2005 Voters Guide Act and the 2009 changes to the state’s open records law and procurement code. We also played a lead role in the 2009 revisions to the election code that enacted contribution limits, instituted quarterly reporting and mandated year-round supplemental reports for large contributions, as well as further revisions in 2012 that codified regulations of so-called ‘SuperPACs.’ Our organization has worked with the City of Chicago, Cook County and other local governments on a range of ethics and transparency matters, including strengthening oversight agencies, requiring economic disclosures and limiting the ability of government contractors to contribute to campaigns.
In 2015, ICPR helped pass SB 248. This bill increases reporting requirements for Independent Expenditures, otherwise known as electioneering activities, over $1,000. Current Illinois requirements leave a significant amount of these expenditures unreported prior to a general or primary election. By increasing the reporting requirements and timelines year-round, the bill ensures that the vast majority of these expenditures are reported prior to Election Day. Now, PACs must disclose independent expenditures over $1,000 and file a electronic report with the State Board of Elections within 5 days of making the expenditure.
In 2018, ICPR helped pass SB265, which was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner July 20, 2018, This bill contains ICPR’s voting equipment modernization proposal. It requires all state election authorities to submit information on the age and functionality of their voting equipment used within their jurisdiction every two years to the State Board of Elections. Election authorities are also required to assess their voting equipment’s status as a whole and provide their cost estimated cost for any necessary replacements or upgrades. The State Board of Elections is then required to make the information available to the public by posting a summary report online.
We have also won numerous victories for transparency and accountability via actions filed through the State Board of Elections, the Executive Ethics Commission and the Public Access Counselor. Our organization participated in litigation in the Illinois Appellate Court to appeal rulings by the State Board of Elections, and has filed several Amicus Curiae briefs in the state Supreme Court, federal district court and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on various matters, aided by pro-bono counsel from law firms including DLA Piper, Sidley & Austin and Goldberg Kohn.