Bill S2550-2011

Relates to the hiring of certain legislative employees

Relates to the hiring of certain legislative employees; requires certain non-partisan legislative employees to be hired from a list developed through a competitive examination; includes payroll, accounting, district office operations, supplies, technology, postal services, document printing and distribution, research, media services including the operation and scheduling of recording sessions, personnel services, financial analysis and reporting, state budget analysis and reporting.

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Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • Jan 25, 2011: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2550

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the legislative law, in relation to hiring of certain non-partisan legislative employees

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To allow for the hiring of administrative and non-policy staff of the Legislature through a qualifications and exam based process rather than a political process.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The legislation requires the establishment of a list of employee titles for employees who work outside of the offices of the Members of the Legislature and outside of Committee staff. Job descriptions and qualifications would then be determined for the employees (who work outside of Member or Committee offices).

Examples of positions effected include positions in payroll, postal services, accounting, printing, technology, media services, research, financial analysis and reporting, and state budget analysis and reporting.

Exams would then be developed for these positions by the leaders of the Legislature, in consultation, where the leaders deem necessary with the Department of Civil Service. If a position's qualifications and exams cannot be agreed upon by the Legislative leaders, the Commissioners of the Department of Civil Service will make the determination of the qualifications of the job description and qualifications.

The legislation continues existing employees but requires incumbent office holders to take and pass, by the end of the third year after the examination for his or her job is offered, take and score in the top three for the job he or she holds.

The legislation authorizes employees to join a collective bargaining association.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Currently employees of the Legislature are hired without an organized and specific set of qualifications.

JUSTIFICATION: This legislation would make a substantial number of employees of the NYS Legislature apolitical. Currently employees in positions which are non policy oriented are still hired without examination and without any minimum formal requirements for their job. There is no Republican or Democratic way to maintain a payroll, install office furniture, maintain bill files, research factual questions and

issues, and analyze a budget. These jobs are...or should be non-political.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.2596 of 2009: Referred to Investigations & Government Operations

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The sponsor contends this bill would save the State money since hiring people based upon qualifications rather than political activity or connections will inherently lead to a more effective and functional legislature.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2550 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 25, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. BONACIC, KRUEGER, RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations AN ACT to amend the legislative law, in relation to hiring of certain non-partisan legislative employees THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds and declares that unnecessary duplication of services between the senate and assembly is a waste of taxpayer resources and otherwise fails to promote a form of government which is based on competency and ability rather than political patronage. The legislature declares that the state and its people would be better served if the administrative functions of the legislature were consolidated and implemented in a non-partisan manner based solely on objective criteria. S 2. The legislative law is amended by adding a new section 8-a to read as follows: S 8-A. NON-PARTISAN HIRING OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE LEGISLATURE. 1. THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY, TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS "THE LEADERSHIP") SHALL, WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF THE EFFEC- TIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, JOINTLY DEVELOP A LIST OF ALL EMPLOYEE TITLES WHICH ARE NOT HIRED UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF A MEMBER SPECIFICALLY TO SERVE IN THAT MEMBER'S OFFICE OR ON THE COMMITTEE STAFF OF ANY COMMITTEE THAT MEMBER IS THE CHAIRPERSON OR RANKING MINORITY MEMBER OF. SUCH EMPLOYEE TITLES SHALL INCLUDE THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO PERFORM SERVICES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PAYROLL, ACCOUNTING, DISTRICT OFFICE OPERATIONS, SUPPLIES, TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL SERVICES, DOCUMENT PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTION, RESEARCH, MEDIA SERVICES INCLUDING THE OPERATION AND SCHE- DULING OF RECORDING SESSIONS, PERSONNEL SERVICES, FINANCIAL ANALYSIS AND REPORTING, STATE BUDGET ANALYSIS AND REPORTING.
2. WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS OF THE ADOPTION OF THE LIST PROVIDED FOR IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, THE SPEAKER, TEMPORARY PRESI- DENT, AND MINORITY LEADERS SHALL TOGETHER OR THROUGH REPRESENTATIVES DETERMINE THE JOB DUTIES OF EACH TITLE AND PREPARE OR CAUSE TO BE PREPARED MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND COMPETITIVE EXAMINA- TIONS WHICH SHALL BE UTILIZED TO HIRE CANDIDATES FOR EACH SUCH POSITION UPON SUCH POSITION'S BECOMING VACATED. TO THE EXTENT REQUESTED BY THE SPEAKER, TEMPORARY PRESIDENT, AND EITHER OR BOTH MINORITY LEADERS, THE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE SHALL ASSIST WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE QUALIFICATIONS AND EXAMINATIONS. IN THE EVENT AT LEAST THREE OF THE FOUR MEMBERS OF THE LEADERSHIP CANNOT AGREE ON THE LANGUAGE OF THE EXAM OR THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS, THE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE SHALL, BY VOTE OF THE MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF COMMISSIONERS, AFTER A HEARING, MAKE A REASONABLE DETERMINATION OF THE EXAMINATION LANGUAGE AND/OR MINI- MUM QUALIFICATIONS AS THE CASE MAY BE. 3. ANY PERSON HIRED TO FILL ANY VACATED POSITION SHALL BE HIRED FROM A LIST OF THE TOP THREE SCORES OF THOSE WHO MEET THE MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS. SUCH PERSON SHALL BE HIRED BASED ON A VOTE OF THE MAJOR- ITY OF THE LEADERSHIP. EXAMS SHALL BE GIVEN AT LEAST TWICE ANNUALLY. HIRING SHALL BE DONE ON A NON-PARTISAN MANNER. EMPLOYEES, ONCE HIRED SHALL BE RETAINED EXCEPT FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE POSITION OR FOR CAUSE. TO THE EXTENT OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW, ANY EMPLOYEE HIRED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION OR OTHERWISE HOLDING A TITLED POSITION COVERED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED TO JOIN AND ENJOY THE PROTECTIONS OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ORGANIZATION PROVIDED SUCH AN ORGANIZATION OTHERWISE QUALIFIES TO REPRESENT SUCH EMPLOYEE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE STATE LAW AND HAVE THEIR SALARIES AND BENEFITS NEGOTIATED THEREBY. 4. ANY INCUMBENT WHOSE JOB TITLE IS CONTAINED ON THE LIST PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SECTION SHALL SIT FOR COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION. ANY INCUMBENT IN A JOB TITLE SHALL BE DEEMED TO MEET THE MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICA- TIONS SHALL BE RETAINED, UNLESS DISCHARGED FOR CAUSE. PROVIDED, HOWEVER THE INCUMBENT MUST, BY THE END OF THE THIRD YEAR AFTER THE EXAMINATION FOR HIS OR HER JOB IS FIRST OFFERED, TAKE THE EXAM AND EARN A POSITION IN THE TOP THREE AGAINST THE OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHO SAT FOR THE EXAM WHICH THE INCUMBENT SAT FOR OR HIS OR HER JOB SHALL TERMINATE AT THE END OF THE THIRD FULL YEAR AFTER THIS SECTION SHALL HAVE BECOME A LAW. 5. ANY PREFERENCE UNDER THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW GRANTING PREFERENCES OR ADDITIONAL EXAMINATION POINTS AVAILABLE TO OTHER PUBLIC POSITIONS SHALL EXIST FOR THESE POSITIONS. S 3. The second undesignated paragraph of section 7-a of the legisla- tive law, as amended by chapter 746 of the laws of 1974, is amended to read as follows: Such library shall be suitably furnished, equipped and maintained under the direction of the legislative librarian, within the amount of any moneys available therefor by appropriation, subject to joint rules, if any, that may be adopted by the senate and assembly in relation ther- eto. There shall be, for such library, a legislative librarian and such assistant librarians and other employees as may be provided for in the legislative appropriation bill. Such librarian, assistant librarians and other employees shall be chosen [by the temporary president of the senate and speaker of the assembly] IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION EIGHT-A OF THIS ARTICLE. One of the assistant librarians shall be assigned by the legislative librarian to have charge of the legislative correspond- ents' room in the capitol. [The legislative librarian and assistant librarians heretofore chosen by the president of the senate and speaker
of the assembly, and in office when this section as hereby amended takes effect, shall continue to serve until their successors shall be chosen.]
The salaries and compensation of the legislative librarian, assistant librarians and other employees shall be payable from moneys appropriated in the legislative appropriation bill. During a vacancy in the office of legislative librarian, the assistant librarian who shall have been long- est in the service of the state as a legislative employee, shall be employed as acting legislative librarian with the powers and duties of such librarian, and shall receive during such period the compensation herein prescribed for the legislative librarian. Such librarian shall have charge of the legislative library, but the two houses of the legis- lature may, by joint rules, regulate the use of the library and prescribe the powers and duties of the legislative librarian and the assistant librarians. S 4. Subdivision 1 of section 7-b of the legislative law, as added by chapter 875 of the laws of 1935 and as designated by chapter 867 of the laws of 1984, is amended to read as follows: 1. There shall be a legislative emergency health station, available for the use of members and employees of both houses of the legislature, and official reporters of the senate and assembly duly designated upon certificate of the legislative correspondent's association, to be located on the third floor of the state capitol, conveniently accessible to the legislature, and such emergency health station shall be open at all times while the legislature is in session. Such emergency health station shall be suitable and adequately equipped to administer first aid, within the amount of moneys available therefor by appropriation, subject to joint rules, if any, that may be adopted by the senate and assembly in relation thereto and maintained under the direction of a nurse registered under the laws of the state. The nurse provided for in this section shall be chosen [by the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly and shall serve until his or her succes- sor shall be chosen in like manner] IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION EIGHT-A OF THIS ARTICLE. The salary and compensation of such nurse shall be payable monthly from moneys appropriated for compensation of officers and employees of the senate and assembly. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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