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Illinois Senate cracks down on 'pay-to-play' campaign donations

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By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois Senate has given final approval to new restrictions on campaign donations by government contractors.

The 55-0 vote Monday means the restrictions now become law, despite a veto by Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The measure is meant to fight the state's reputation for "pay to play" politics, the idea that only campaign donors get a chance at government business.

Now, someone with a state contract worth $50,000 or more will be barred from donating to the official who awarded the contract.

Lawmakers approved the measure in the spring, but Blagojevich used his veto powers to make sweeping changes that were widely seen as unrealistic.

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