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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bill Would Ban Elected Official from Other Office

So many new bills to cover, so little time.  One of the most recent bills introduced in this legislative session is Illinois House Bill 1434 that would amend the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act. The proposed new law would prohibit an elected official from holding any other public office simultaneously, whether or not the elected official receives compensation for a public office. 

The bill does not contain any exemptions, so it isn't clear how it would impact other statutory provisions that expressly allow certain elected officials to hold other offices. For example, the Illinois Municipal Code allows an elected village clerk to also be appointed as the village collector.  The Illinois Municipal Code and the Illinois Liquor Control Act expressly provides that the mayor (an elected official) also serves as the local liquor commissioner.  There is already a significant body of law on the issue of incompatibility of offices derived from Illinois Attorney General opinions that is intended to address any inherent conflict in serving in two offices.  It's not clear that a full-scale ban is necessary. 

Before this legislation is approved, there should be some discussion about how this broad ban affects other provisions in state law that this bill would appear to be in direct conflict with.


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