Pols Say ‘Pay to Play' OK — Sometimes

The General Assembly is granting an exception to its new "pay to play" ethics law.

The law forbids firms holding state contracts of $50,000 or more from making campaign contributions to the governor or state officer responsible for the contract, but lawmakers fear the law could limit bidders on highway projects by excluding firms offering the lowest price.

The legislation exempts highway contractors from the ban. It next goes to the governor for his action.

Democratic Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park sponsored both the ethics law that took effect Jan. 1 and the exception. He said he'll work to try to keep the ethics measure strong.

The "pay to play" ban was aimed at Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Federal investigators say his administration allegedly traded government action for campaign contributions.

The bill is SB761.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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