Governor Jan Brewer Signs Sweeping Personnel Reform into Law

Package Updates Personnel Rules for State Workforce, Mirrors Private Sector

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PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer today signed into law a historic reform governing the State workforce, modernizing the way in which State government manages, hires and fires employees. The measure, HB 2571, was a critical component of the Governor’s policy agenda during the recently-concluded legislative session.

“The cumbersome rules of our existing personnel system serve only to discourage our best employees and protect the weakest performers,” Governor Brewer said. “With this legislation, we will increase State productivity, eliminate bureaucratic red tape and, ultimately, save our taxpayers money. I applaud the Legislature for rallying around this reform measure, and give a special ‘thank you’ to Representatives Justin Olson and Justin Pierce for making this possible.”

HB 2571 introduces a series of common sense human resources practices that have long been standard practice in the private sector. The goal is to improve accountability and performance, while making State employment a more attractive option. This is critical, as about one-third of the State workforce will be retirement-eligible within the next five years.

The legislation maintains core principles that guard against partisan political coercion of state employees and prohibit discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability or religion.

HB 2571 resulted from a collaborative process that the Governor’s Office and the Arizona Department of Administration undertook over the last 18 months. Extensive research has been completed and numerous stakeholder meetings have been conducted with law enforcement and other groups in order to consider all aspects and potential ramifications of this significant change to the State personnel system.

“I would like to extend my appreciation to Jimmy Chavez, President of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association,” said Governor Brewer. “His leadership and involvement from Day One of this process have been instrumental in ensuring that public safety issues were properly addressed in the final proposal.”

Among changes incorporated as part of the new law, State managers will be able to act more quickly when it comes to hiring the most talented applicants, rewarding the best workers or disciplining under-performing employees without excessive bureaucracy and levels of unnecessary review.

The new personnel system will address a series of challenges confronting State government, namely its need to:

 Remain productive by being able to do more with less;

 Attract top talent into the workforce; and

 Discontinue providing job security and protection for inefficient and unproductive workers.

This legislation addresses these challenges with the current system and brings State government into a competitive position with other employers – attaining a position of productivity, efficiency and accountability. Simply put, this legislation is about good management and running an effective organization.

More detailed information about the legislation as well as the other provisions of Personnel Reform may be found at www.azgovernor.gov/PersonnelReform.asp.

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