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Public Funding May Come to Judicial Races

Illinois Supreme Court.
Illinois Supreme Court.


Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Supreme Court races would be funded by taxpayers under a plan approved Wednesday by the state Senate.

The legislation would let court candidates decide whether to accept $750,000 in state support. Those who don't would face a $1,000 limit on the size of private donations they can accept.

Money for the campaigns would come from taxpayer donations and legal fees.

Right now, judicial candidates can accept all the political money they want. Last year's Supreme Court race in southern Illinois set national records as the most expensive court campaign in history.

Critics say that chips away at public confidence in the court system.

They cite polls showing people think political donations affect judges' decisions.

The bill passed 34-23 and now goes to the House.