Companies and individuals doing business in Illinois should be aware of an executive order – Executive Order 15-09 – signed this week by Governor Bruce Rauner that, among other things, imposes new limitations on the acceptance of gifts by state employees.  Illinois state employees are generally prohibited by statute from accepting any gift from a “prohibited source.”  5 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 430/10-10.

“Prohibited sources” include entities that or individuals who are seeking official action from the applicable state agency, are conducting or seeking to do business with the applicable state agency, are regulated by the applicable state agency, are Illinois lobbyists, or who are immediate family members of any individuals falling into the preceding categories.  Id. 430/1-5.   The statute, however, contains exemptions that allow prohibited sources to provide state employees with $75 worth of food and refreshments, per day, that are catered or consumed where they were purchased or prepared, gifts worth less than $100 in the aggregate per year, and travel for certain educational purposes and to discuss state business.   Id. 430/10-15.  Governor Rauner’s executive order provides that state employees may not rely on these exceptions to accept gifts.

Executive Order 15-09 also imposes restrictions on the ability of state employees to become lobbyists after leaving state employments, expands financial disclosure requirements for certain state employees, and adds new procedures for the review of state employment contracts.