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Rauner Signs "Big Deal" Ethics Executive Order

Amanda Vinicky

State employees will have to be more forthcoming about their volunteer work, legal status and property holdings under an executive order Gov. Bruce Rauner signed this afternoon. At the same time, the new governor was unwilling to specify what more he'll disclose about his finances.

The executive order is sweeping in its scope; it applies to anyone in the Rauner administration, from the governor's top aides to secretaries. Workers must share more information on their economic interest statements; disclose what businesses, labor organizations and non-profit groups they're involved with and say if they're part of any ongoing litigation with the state.

The order also bans employees at all levels from lobbying for a year after leaving their state jobs. Rauner says the policy has made recruiting difficult.

"Because they say 'wow, can't come in, work for a little while, and then go back out and make money based on my relationships and my insider dealings.' Shows how meaningful this is. This is a big deal. This has an impact on behavior," he said.

As further proof it's a big deal, Rauner says delayed the effective date of the order, because many of former Gov. Pat Quinn's staff plan to move on to lobbying gigs.

One of Quinn's last acts as governor was to issue an executive order of his own; it calls on governors to release their full tax returns and schedules.

Rauner, a former private equity investor who contributed $26 million of his personal wealth toward his gubernatorial campaign, has refused to give that information. When asked if he'll rescind Quinn's order, Rauner stumbled, then gave no direct answer. Rauner said at the executive order signing on Tues., Jan. 13, 2015 that he will have further responses to Quinn's last minute actions. The Republican governor also reiterated that he will personally comply with the Executive Order 15-09.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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