Even before saddling the rest of the U.S. with Barack Obama, Illinois had a reputation for fostering a corrupt and dangerous state government. In light of the latest administrative order by Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn, that perception will only grow more pronounced.
No matter the nature of the charge, felons seeking a job with the state will no longer be required to inform their employer about any prior criminal convictions. While the state can seek a background check later before finalizing a hire, proponents of the move want agencies to invest as much time as possible into potential candidates without knowledge of their past.
State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, expressed his support of the measure, indicating the state will now focus more on finding a person “they feel comfortable with” rather than, say, his or her propensity for violence or grand theft.
“Employers in private or state agencies should never hire a person that appears to not be a fit for the job,” he said.
Ford, who is currently facing federal charges of bank fraud, suggested the point is basically moot by arguing criminals probably won’t even seek a job with the state. Obviously more concerned with inventing rights for ex-convicts than protecting the rights of everyone else, Ford advocates using his prediction of what felons are likely to do in implementing statewide policy.
This legislator and others who support Quinn’s order represent the misplaced priorities of many modern leftists. While a felony conviction should not necessarily bar a rehabilitated citizen from future jobs, employers deserve the latitude to make staffing decisions based on as much information as possible.
Instead of sparing the feelings of those who chose to commit a felonious deed, lawmakers should be focused on protecting the interest of those they serve. Given the sheer volume of criminals who have emerged from Illinois politics, though, the argument could be made that felons have a leg up on other applicants.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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