Anyone will be able to look up the names of political appointees to state jobs under an executive order Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Thursday, Jan. 15.
By law, the vast majority of state employees are to be hired based on merit, not their political affiliation. Higher-level jobs are the exception. A governor gets to choose whoever he wants to be in his inner circle, and in policy-driven jobs. Rauner's executive order requires the names of these political hires to be published on a state website.
Rauner, who took over from Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday, says it's a direct response to patronage hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation under Quinn. Rauner says it's been difficult to root out all the political hires on the state's payroll.
"It's shocking that after the scandal broke, opened this ... just ... it just was more of the same," Rauner said. "Unfortunately, Gov. Quinn has continued the past legacy of Gov. Blagojevich in this stuff."
A lawsuit over IDOT's practices led a federal judge to appoint a monitor to oversee hiring at the agency. Her initial report is due late next month.