Sosnowski eNewsletter January

Inauguration, Budget & Executive Orders

In his inaugural address, Governor Rauner made budget reform, job creation, economic growth, and educational reform four of the top priorities of his new administration. In addition, he and his staff have signaled their readiness to use additional executive orders to reorganize State agencies, abolish redundant and unnecessary offices, and reduce State spending.

As he launched into his duties as Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner issued a series of executive orders to freeze all nonessential State spending (Executive Order 15-08), including spending on infrastructure projects. Some forms of spending are expected to continue. For example, ongoing State-financed infrastructure projects may continue if construction has started or equipment purchased. This exemption does not apply to major State programs that are currently in the planning stage, such as the proposed Illiana Tollway. State agencies are barred from awarding new contracts or grants during a review period to be supervised by the Governor’s office, which is expected to continue until July 1, 2015.

Executive Order 15-09, was issued to halt the state’s horrific revolving door history. The order bans executive branch employees and appointees from negotiating for employment with a lobbyist or lobbying firm. It creates a one-year-long barrier between the act of leaving an executive-branch position and accepting any compensation for lobbying. Thirty-seven other states have implemented this type of policy within state government. The executive order goes further reducing the per diem food and beverages lobbyists may buy a member of the executive branch. In addition, the order increases the scope of the required annual filing of annual Statements of Economic Interest by State employees. Under the expanded disclosure requirement, mandated disclosures will include additional information about each filer’s outside work, volunteer work, legal status, and property holdings.

Executive Order 15-10, was issued to increase government accountability and transparency. The order mandates Central Management Services (CMS) to update the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal website to include salary and job classification information about Rutan-exempt employees and assist local governments in doing the same.

Executive Order 15-11, reversed last minute executive orders and appointments made by former Governor Pat Quinn before exiting office.

Executive Order 15-12, orders state agencies to review state contracts within 30 days and require labor organizations, contractors and subcontractors to catalog the total number of minority and veteran participants. In addition, CMS must conduct a review of programs and goals to ensure minority-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses are provided equal opportunities to obtain state contracts. Governor Rauner commented, “We need to ensure jobs and business opportunities are open to everyone, but especially those who serve our country or are underrepresented in the economy.”