Illinois changing campaign finance laws

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June 8, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

SYCAMORE, Illinois: The Illinois State Board of Elections held a public hearing over new changes to the state's campaign finance laws of which some take effect on July 1, 2010 and others on January 1, 2011.

The first key change to the law is the designation of committees which take effect on July 1, 2010. There will be four designations including candidate committees, political action committees, political party, and ballot initiative committees[1].

The new changes to the ballot initiative committee designation include that groups in support or opposition of a question of public policy must register with the State Board of Elections within 10 days of receiving or spending $3,000 or more. Also, the new registration requirement applies to groups who fund election advertisements to influence the results of a referendum[2].

Another change in the new election laws is contribution limits. Ballot initiative committees are not affected by the new law as they can still accept contributions without limits. Other committees including candidate committees will face contribution limits for the first time ever[3]. The maximum limit for individuals to other committees and candidates is $5,000, organizations are $10,000, and political parties and action committees is $50,000[1]. The limits differ with each election cycle[1].

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