Senate panel to consider Brewer’s personnel reform plan
Published: March 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm
The Senate Appropriations Committee will take up the governor’s proposal to overhaul the state’s merit system tomorrow.
The proposal, which is her top priority for the legislative session, would essentially make it easier to fire state employees.
Sen. Don Shooter, the committee’s chairman, believes HB2571 has sufficient support to advance to the floor.
The House approved the measure March 14.
The full Senate still has to weigh in on the measure once the Appropriations Committee clears it.
It remains to be seen whether the Senate will send the proposal to Gov. Jan Brewer before a final budget is adopted.
But tomorrow’s hearing signals that budget talks between the two sides are progressing.
Many view the two items as tied together.
The proposal to overhaul the state’s personnel system has been tweaked to soften the blow for law enforcement officers and other state employees who will retain their civil service protections.
But the bill still makes sweeping changes and would strip most current employees of protections they currently enjoy.
Most new employees would also be at-will, meaning they could be fired for any legal reason.
Supporters tout the measure as a modernization of the state’s personnel system that will bring government in line with private sector practices. Proponents also say the bill will make it easier to fire employees for cause and make it easier to hire better employees as replacements.
But Democrats warn of a future where government employees are hired and fired for political reasons.