In an unprecedented move, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued an order that allows applicants for state government jobs to apply without having to disclose felony convictions.
Governor Quinn calls it an order to ‘Ban the Box,’ referring to the box job applicants have to check to disclose convictions. The administrative order, issued October 3, 2013, is effective immediately.
“Governor Quinn believes ex-offenders should not face a life sentence of no job prospects and no life opportunities just because they have served time in prison,” said Dave Blanchette, spokesman for the Governor. “In implementing this change, the state will serve as an example for private sector employers.”
The Governor’s order has drawn criticism from politicians on the right. They say it encourages corruption in state government.
Legislators are threatening to override the order by statute, but this may be unlikely given that Governor Quinn is a Democrat, and the Democrats have a super-majority in the General Assembly.
So for the time being, people with felony convictions can apply for state government jobs. Illinois may be the only state with such a policy in the US.
Read the Ban the Box order.