MALDEF LAWSUIT COMPELS TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER'S APPOINTMENTS TO STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Governor reports ethnic, gender and disability status of applicants and appointees
August 2, 2016
CHICAGO, IL - Today, MALDEF announced the favorable outcome from a lawsuit it filed against Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, in April, seeking enforcement of the Illinois Gubernatorial Boards and Commissions Act ("The Act"). The Act requires Governor Rauner to publish information about the ethnicity, gender and disability status of applicants and appointees to state boards and commissions. As of April, the governor had failed to publish his first report, even though he was required to do so six months earlier. Three months after the suit was filed, the governor has complied with the Act's requirements.
"It is of course a matter of ongoing concern that it took a lawsuit to catalyze the governor's compliance with such an important legal obligation of transparency in sharing data on those who set policy on important state boards and commissions," stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. "Nonetheless, MALDEF is pleased to have triggered the governor's compliance with this critical mandate."
As of July 19, 2016, Governor Rauner has complied with the law and published a report detailing the demographic information of applicants and appointees to state boards and commissions. In addition, he has made the ethnicity, gender, and disability status fields mandatory for people who apply for state boards and commissions on the Illinois government's website. County Commissioner, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia was the plaintiff in the case.
MALDEF Senior Litigator, Jorge Sanchez, said "The public has a right to know who the governor appoints to state boards and commissions and now will have that information available as a result of this case."
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.