The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 25, 2011
Brown vetoes union-sponsored legislation

Gov. Jerry Brown today vetoed a union-sponsored measure that would have mandated the make-up of local civil service commissions.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was the source of Assembly Bill 455 by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, which cleared the Legislature on party-line votes. The measure called for requiring local versions of the State Personnel Board to have half of its members appointed by the local government's elected officials and the other half nominated by the largest local public sector union in the jurisdiction. AFSCME said the bill "would ensure that the commissions will be more balanced and fair."

But Brown expressed concerns in his veto message, saying the bill imposed a "top down, one-size-fits-all solution on all merit and personnel commissions statewide." He said that "level of state control" is "inconsistent with my administration's efforts to realign state services and to increase local control."

Brown then agreed with the California State Association of Counties, which opposed the bill, saying that local jurisdictions could make any composition changes that public sector unions suggest on a case-by-case basis. The League of California Cities also had urged the governor to veto the bill.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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