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Illinois Governor rescinds last-minute Executive Orders, issues new Orders

January 27th, 2015  |  Deborah Hammonds

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner jump-started his new term by rescinding seven Executive Orders issued by former Governor Pat Quinn during his last eight days in office. The Orders covered a range of issues including pregnancy discrimination, raising the state minimum wage on public contracts, and immigration. Governor Rauner’s Executive Order 11 immediately rescinded and revoked Quinn’s Orders because they were not “wholly motivated by serving in the public’s interest.”

One of the rescinded Orders, Executive Order 15-03, covered pregnancy discrimination in state employment. The Order called for a comprehensive review of “all laws, rules, regulations, policies, executive and administrative orders, and any other mandate or directive any kind that apply to personnel management and administration at the agency (cumulatively, ‘personnel policies’) to determine whether or not the prohibition on discrimination against pregnant employees that is set forth in Public Act 098-1050 is fully reflected in the agency’s personnel policies.” Agencies were directed to have completed their revision of personnel policies within 60 days of the Order.

Another rescinded Order addressed the minimum wage requirements for state contractors and subcontractors. Executive Order 15-07 would have required that vendors and subcontractors pay an hourly minimum wage of $10.00 to all employees subject to the minimum wage. The Executive Order would also have required that all pending solicitations issued by any state agency be amended to include a requirement that prospective vendors and their subcontractors pay a minimum hourly wage of $10.00 to all employees. The Order allowed for an exception under a home rule municipality that had a higher minimum wage rate in place.

The other rescinded Orders covered immigration, a New Americans’ Welcoming Initiative (15-01) and the New American’s Trust Initiative (15-02); Medicaid expansion and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (15-04); financial disclosure that called for making available for public inspection the governor’s annual income tax returns (15-05); and the Illinois Open Data (15-06), which called for an operating standard for public data sets of public information. Executive Order 15-11 was issued by Rauner on January 16.

In addition, Rauner issued several new Executive Orders addressing the state’s fiscal crisis (15-08), ethics (15-09) and transparency (15-10) within state and local government, and ensuring equal opportunities for minorities and veterans (15-12).

Issued on January 12, Executive Order 8 orders a freeze on all state discretionary spending, including halting the awarding of contracts and grants, and instructs the sale of surplus state property.

Executive Orders 9 and 10, issued on January 13 and January 15, address ethics and transparency within state and local government. The Orders restrict and ban gifts to state employees; prohibit current employees from negotiating employment or other compensation from lobbying entities or lobbyists and prohibit former state employees from accepting compensation from such groups within a year from leaving his or her post; require review and approval of government contracts; and require publication of a list of senior-level Rutan-exempt hires sorted by name, employment state agency and agency division, and employing position title. “Rutan-exempt” refers to a position of employment to which principles set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Rutan v Republican Party of Illinois (497 U.S. 62 (1990) do not apply.

Executive Order 15-12, issued January 19, orders state agencies to require every labor organization, contractor or subcontractor that is party to a state contract to obtain and report within 30 days the total number of minority and veteran participants in any offered training program as well as the minority and veteran participation rate in those programs.