SEANC Stops Harmful Personnel Change at End of Session

Jul 08, 2016

The General Assembly went home last Friday after a whirlwind day that stretched right up to midnight, with a flurry of bills being passed up until the final gavel.

As you probably know, the end of session is a dangerous time for state employees and retirees. You never know what kind of harmful legislation will find its way into a seemingly bland bill. This happened once again Friday night with a technical corrections bill, but luckily SEANC’s lobbyists were able to recognized and garner enough support to defeat it.

Technical corrections bills, by definition, are supposed to be noncontroversial bills that only change things like grammatical errors or other “technical” problems in statutes. This particular bill would have taken the word “most” out in front of “qualified candidate” in a statute on state employee hiring. If you’ll recall, this is a fight we had with the Office of State Human Resources last year and each of the last three years.

Taking out “most” would allow the governor or any other hiring manager, who are usually political appointees, to hire anyone they deemed qualified for a job, even if there were a state employee seeking the job that was more qualified. In essence, taking out that one word changes all of the hiring practices of state government.

SEANC worked with many in the House who agreed that the change was too big to be in a technical corrections bill. Through the leadership of House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake), Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), Rep. Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth), Rep. Pat Hurley (R-Randolph), Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake), Rep. Mitchell Setzer (R-Catawba), Rep. Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe), Rep. Larry Hall (D-Durham), Rep. Michael Wray (D-Halifax), Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover), Rep. George Cleveland (R-Onslow ) and others, the bill was amended in our favor by a 98-0 vote.

SEANC thanks all of the members who worked hard this session on behalf of state employees and the public services they provide. We also urge you to continue to build a relationship with your legislators, and remind them that you will be voting in November.