The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 23, 2011
Senate committees to consider departments' merger today

Lawmakers are convening a joint committee hearing this morning at 9:30 to review Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to merge non-constitutionally-mandated functions of the State Personnel Board with the Department of Personnel Administration.

The plan aims to modernize California's outdated, clunky and redundant human resources infrastructure. But state employee union leaders worry that some provisions of the plan will erode civil service protections. They're particularly concerned about new discipline guidelines to be written by the new California Department of Human Resources that labor fears will unconstitutionally influence disputes that come before the Personnel Board.

Officials who helped draft the the reorganization plan, including DPA Director Ron Yank, have brushed aside those concerns with assurances that the Personnel Board will retain its constitutional independence. The unions, Yank said, will have a seat at the table when the discipline guidelines are written.

Today's hearing of the Senate Governmental Organization and Senate Public Employment and Retirement committees will take the political temperature of lawmakers toward the plan. The merger will go into effect unless either the Assembly or the Senate pass a resolution rejecting the idea by Sept. 9.
110823 Hearing Agenda (Aug 23 2011)

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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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