Thursday, May 10, 2012

UPDATE: Governor signs her “personnel reform” promoting political patronage and cronyism

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that will bring back political patronage and cronyism to the state.

Brewer signed HB 2571, which all House Democrats opposed because it gives the governor the power to hire and fire people based on her political whims. This legislation requires many state agency directors to “serve at the pleasure of the governor.”

“The governor is more interested in granting political favors than making sure state agencies are run by qualified people,” House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 14), said.

The new law will remove the protection that the current merit system provides for nearly 6,000 state employees. The system prevents employers from hiring people based on political allegiance or favoritism. It also prevents employers from firing state employees without cause. The new law repeals workers’ rights to appeal firing and disciplinary decisions. It also will force state employees currently protected by the merit system to choose between giving up their rights and receiving pay raises.

“For the governor to call this ‘personnel reform’ is misleading,” Campbell said. “It doesn’t reform anything. In fact, it opens the doors for political power grabs.”

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