Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday signed a bill into law on prohibiting state officials from placing their names or likeness on billboards or electronic signs that are paid with taxpayer dollars.
"When state government gets the word out about a program or service that will help people, it should not be an excuse for officials to promote themselves," Quinn said in a prepared statement.
The new bill was largely in response to the 32 blue "Open Road Tolling" signs featuring former Governor Rod Blagojevich's name that were erected in 2004 at the cost of almost $500,000. The signs have been changed since 2009, but Senate Bill 1344 acts as a formal stand against political narcissism at the expense of taxpayers' dollars.
Quinn signed the bill at a ceremony at the Cermak Toll Plaza on the Tri-State Tollway in Hillside. It adds to an existing law which already prohibits state elected officials from using their names, likenesses, and voices in television, radio, newspaper, and magazine advertisements purchased as part of state program awareness efforts.
State officials are also banned from using their names and likenesses on bumper stickers, buttons, magnets, and other promotional items.
State Senator Matt Murphy (R-Paletine) and state Representative Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) sponsored the bill, which passed the general assembly with bipartisan support and is effective immediately.