Fair Elections Funds

Reform for Illinois is a long-time supporter of small donor matching “Fair Elections” programs for political campaigns.
These programs amplify the voices of everyday Illinoisans in our government by empowering them to make meaningful contributions to candidates they support.

How it works: 

Example: Public Financing/Small Donor Matching Bill, SB1733/HB3712, 101st ILGA (Sponsored by Senator Melinda Bush and Representative Kelly Cassidy)


Program details vary. Denver recently enacted a program that matches contributions of $10-$50 at a 9:1 ratio. This means a donor giving $10 would turn into $100 for their favored candidate; $50 would turn into $500. 


Benefits of public financing systems:


Who has public financing programs:

Cost: Typically a fraction of a percent of a jurisdiction’s budget (1/20 of 1% in the IL bill). A recent NY State commission report noted that reducing the power of special interests saves money: “the elimination of just one wasteful tax expenditure or one unnecessary spending program could cover the full cost of the program.”

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