Illinois bans billboards promoting officials
Illinois elected officials looking to get their names out to the public have one less medium with which to do so. A new state law prohibits them from putting their names or likenesses on billboards or electronic signs paid for with taxpayer dollars.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation on June 16, adding billboards and electronic billboards to an existing law that 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. Under current law, state officials are also barred from using their names and likenesses on bumper stickers, buttons, magnets and other promotional items. “Government belongs to the people,” Quinn said in a statement. “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 (pictured, center) signed the new law in a ceremony at the Cermak Toll Plaza on the Tri-State Tollway, which previously displayed the name of Illinois’ former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. It takes effect immediately. “This is a common sense measure that’s long overdue,” said State Rep. Chris Nybo, one of the bill’s sponsors. “Taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned money treated more responsibly by their representatives who are elected to serve the people, not their own personal interests.”
Read more about Illinois’ new billboard law.