CHICAGO – December 11, 2009. Governor Quinn today strengthened and affirmed the State’s commitment to politically-neutral, merit-based hiring by signing an Administrative Order calling for increased training of the state’s hiring personnel and mandating new policies to further ensure objective hiring processes. He also reiterated the Administration’s commitment to adhering to the principles in the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois, which prohibits the use of political affiliation or support in making personnel decisions for State positions covered by Rutan.
“We are committed to a politically-neutral, merit-based hiring process for our Rutan-covered employees and applicants,” Governor Quinn said. “These new policies will further our efforts to ensure fair and objective hiring practices.”
The Administrative Order affirms previous orders, issued by Governors Thompson and Edgar, and also provides new guidelines and procedures to further ensure that the State maintains a fair and objective hiring process in full compliance with Rutan. In addition to the Administrative Order, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 54 into law this August, which gives the Office of the Executive Inspector General the power to ensure compliance with Rutan.
While, as a matter of law, the Administrative Order only applies to agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor, all State agencies are subject to the requirements and prohibitions of Rutan. The Quinn Administration has strongly encouraged all State agencies, boards, and commissions outside of the Governor’s jurisdiction to implement policies and procedures like those outlined in the Administrative Order to ensure that their Rutan hiring processes are also politically-neutral and merit-based.
The full Administrative Order can be viewed here.