SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s state-government hiring freeze apparently began the month before he took office, under his predecessor Democrat Pat Quinn. The Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports that in December, the state hired only 75 new employees. That’s according to records compiled by the Illinois comptroller. The number is down from an average of 440 a month in the previous five months. Quinn was responsible for only 17 of the hires. The other 58 were hired by agencies the governor’s office doesn’t control. Rauner ordered a hiring freeze the day he took office — Jan. 12. Republican lawmakers are more concerned that Quinn loyalists already in state jobs were reclassified or transferred to positions where it is harder to remove them under the law.