A bill vetoed Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday would have changed the county personnel systems across Arizona except for Maricopa County.
The bill would have denied merit-system protections for all new hires and remove those rights for current employees as they get promoted or accept pay raises.
The changes are similar to provisions in a Brewer proposal for state workers. She said she liked those elements but found flaws, including the omission of Maricopa County.
Supporters said the changes will help weed out poor-performing workers and make county government more responsive to elected officials.
Critics contended the bill was unfair to current workers and would have opened the door to political favoritism.