Since we are highly sensitive to measures that weaken the protections offered by the state personnel system, which was created to buffer state employees from the political motivations of the governor and other elected officials who wanted to hire their buddies, this is a tough one.
After all, Amendment S would exempt 330 more staffers from the classified personnel system, making them at-will employees and subject to the whim of politics and the governor’s appointed henchmen (and henchwomen). Plus, it would weaken the State Personnel Board in favor of a governor-appointed director and weaken the testing-based hiring system used by the state, all in the name of increased “flexibility.”
But in the end, given that this measure does have some positives, and since it was part of a package that included a bill last spring giving state employees a legitimate pay-raise system for the first time in about a decade, it deserves a reserved, reluctant “yes” vote. The fact that employee union representatives say the governor compromised greatly on his original proposal speaks volumes. If we don’t approve this, the next iteration could be much worse.