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Monday, May 23, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesBILL TO CURB POLITICAL HIRES CLEARS COMMITTEE

BILL TO CURB POLITICAL HIRES CLEARS COMMITTEE

Legislation aimed at limiting the number of government employees holding political jobs cleared its first hurdle Wednesday, the Senate Government Operations Committee.
The bill, the brainchild of Senate President Vargrave Richards, would require the governor to determine which positions are exempt and submit that list to the Legislature for approval.
The measure would also repeal a provision of the law which allows employees who serve in an unclassified, or exempt, position for at least two years to apply for a permanent position in the classified service.
Organized labor warmly embraced the bill, noting that in the past governors have used the exempt service to hand out jobs to political supporters, often at higher salaries than their counterparts in the merit system.
Testifying for the administration, Personnel director Joanne Barry told the committee that "titles and parameters of unclassified, or exempt, positions must be clearly identified."
If the measure becomes law, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull will have to submit a list of current position titles considered exempt to the Senate within 90 days.
Barry also said the law allowing the reclassification of exempt workers "has long been a thorn in the side of organized labor." It permits exempt employees moving into classified positions to retain their higher unclassified salaries, thereby creating a situation in which employees performing similar duties are paid at different rates.
The bill will now move to the Rules Committee.
In other action, the committee tabled indefinitely a measure calling for a constitutional convention to be held in December.

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Legislation aimed at limiting the number of government employees holding political jobs cleared its first hurdle Wednesday, the Senate Government Operations Committee.
The bill, the brainchild of Senate President Vargrave Richards, would require the governor to determine which positions are exempt and submit that list to the Legislature for approval.
The measure would also repeal a provision of the law which allows employees who serve in an unclassified, or exempt, position for at least two years to apply for a permanent position in the classified service.
Organized labor warmly embraced the bill, noting that in the past governors have used the exempt service to hand out jobs to political supporters, often at higher salaries than their counterparts in the merit system.
Testifying for the administration, Personnel director Joanne Barry told the committee that "titles and parameters of unclassified, or exempt, positions must be clearly identified."
If the measure becomes law, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull will have to submit a list of current position titles considered exempt to the Senate within 90 days.
Barry also said the law allowing the reclassification of exempt workers "has long been a thorn in the side of organized labor." It permits exempt employees moving into classified positions to retain their higher unclassified salaries, thereby creating a situation in which employees performing similar duties are paid at different rates.
The bill will now move to the Rules Committee.
In other action, the committee tabled indefinitely a measure calling for a constitutional convention to be held in December.