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State Comptroller Dan Hynes unveiled a Web site Tuesday that allows anyone to compare state contractors with campaign donors. Illinois has no restrictions to prevent campaign contributors from later being awarded state contracts, a situation that some have labeled "pay to play." Hynes said he hopes the Web site, www.OpenBook.ioc.state.il.us, will at least shine some light on the situation. "Track a state contract back far enough and there's a good chance that a campaign contribution was made to the right person at the right time," Hynes said at a Statehouse news conference. He also said he hopes the information on the site might shame Gov. Rod Blagojevich into supporting House Bill 1, which would ban those with state contracts worth more than $25,000 from contributing to campaigns. The governor's staff has said he wants more comprehensive ethics legislation.
Secretary of State Jesse White announced this week that state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards are being redesigned to include more security features. The features, including holograms, wavy colored lines and two photos of the card holder, are meant to deter would-be counterfeiters.
White and his staff demonstrated some of the nifty changes. For instance, shining a laser pen over one part of the card will cause the letter "I" to be reflected on a nearby surface. Other images emerge only under a black light. But White said he was deliberately not publicizing all of the alterations
"A lot of the things that are here are secret," he said.
Quote of Note
"It's totally turning people off. We heard that over and over and over again. People don't send us down here to have games, to have that kind of gamesmanship going on." Rep. Renee Kosel, R-New Lenox, talking about what people said about the ongoing legislative gridlock when she and 11 other female Republican lawmakers conducted a recent "listening tour."
Numbers to Know
575,590 and 1,880,867. Those are, respectively, the numbers of state-issued ID cards and driver's licenses due to expire next year, according to the Secretary of State's office. People seeking renewals would get one of the new high-tech, security-enhanced cards.
The Illinois House of Representatives plans to return to Springfield on Thursday, Nov. 1, to consider mass-transit funding. Friday, Nov. 2 and Monday, Nov. 5 also could be legislative days for the House. No word yet on if or when the Senate will return.
Capitol Notebook: License changes are 'secret'
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