Rauner eliminates governor’s oversight of Illinois hiring

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has eliminated the need for the chief executive to approve non-political state government hires.

Rauner signed an executive order Thursday rescinding another signed by former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich more than 12 years ago.

Blagojevich took office amid a budget crisis and implemented a “hiring freeze.” He ordered that his office approve all hires through a form called ePAR, for “electronic personnel action request.” It led to patronage abuses. Blagojevich was eventually convicted on corruption charges and is in federal prison.

Republican Rauner says the ePAR process was inefficient. The Department of Central Management Services and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget will provide guidance to cabinet-level agencies that are doing the hiring.