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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 21, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesPOLITICAL HIRES COULD BE CURTAILED

POLITICAL HIRES COULD BE CURTAILED

Senate President Vargrave Richards will introduce legislation Wednesday at a Government Operations Committee meeting that could change the way politicians pay off political debts.
The bill would have the governor designate which positions in government are policy-making and then have the Legislature approve those positions. All other jobs would be considered career service and could only be filled by qualified applicants, no matter what their political affiliation.
"The system which allowed for each administration to hire a few political supporters as policymakers, such as commissioners and assistant commissioners, has grown out of control," Richards said. "The expectation that every supporter should receive a government job, leads to a malignancy in the system."
The bill would also address the ability of political appointees to become permanent employees.
This policy created problems last year when Gov. Charles W. Turnbull fired political appointees from the Schneider administration. The employees fought the ousters in court and won. They had to be reinstated.
Richards said his proposal has labor's support. He said union members have complained about working next to individuals hired as political favors who make more money and aren't qualified for the positions they hold.
Richards said the legislation will "ultimately slow the growth of government."

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Senate President Vargrave Richards will introduce legislation Wednesday at a Government Operations Committee meeting that could change the way politicians pay off political debts.
The bill would have the governor designate which positions in government are policy-making and then have the Legislature approve those positions. All other jobs would be considered career service and could only be filled by qualified applicants, no matter what their political affiliation.
"The system which allowed for each administration to hire a few political supporters as policymakers, such as commissioners and assistant commissioners, has grown out of control," Richards said. "The expectation that every supporter should receive a government job, leads to a malignancy in the system."
The bill would also address the ability of political appointees to become permanent employees.
This policy created problems last year when Gov. Charles W. Turnbull fired political appointees from the Schneider administration. The employees fought the ousters in court and won. They had to be reinstated.
Richards said his proposal has labor's support. He said union members have complained about working next to individuals hired as political favors who make more money and aren't qualified for the positions they hold.
Richards said the legislation will "ultimately slow the growth of government."