HB2571 was heard in the House Employment and Regulatory Affairs committee Thursday night. During my testimony opposing the bill, I emphasized to the committee members that the current Law Enforcement Merit System Council (LEMSC) is no broken and splitting up the employees of DPS creates issues that are in no way addressed in the bill. I also pointed out to the committee that even the proposed Law Enforcement Personnel Board (designed to replace the LEMSC) is full of problems for the sworn employees who remain “covered.” This new board will have very limited powers with regards to disciplinary reviews.
The examples highlighting “problems” with the current personnel system, provided by the bill sponsor, Rep. Olson in his opening remarks, contained no issues within DPS and/or the LEMSC. Both Patty Simpson and Mike Sloneker also provided compelling testimony on behalf of DPS employees.
It was clear, based on remarks by many committee members who explained their vote, that our points were heard and resonated. Rep. Farnsworth approached me after the hearing wanting to meet with me to address our issues. Our message is being heard.
As expected, the bill passed out of committee along party lines; 6 yes votes to 3 no votes.
Our work is not over. Kelsey Lundy and I will be meeting with House members throughout the next week to further our message. Additionally, Dale Norris is working with us to craft an amendment that will keep the current system for DPS employees in place.
In the meantime, the efforts of AHPA will continue to need involvement from everyone. Continue to reach out to your respective legislators and let them know that the Law Enforcement Merit System Council should remain in place for ALL DPS employees.
President Chavez’s Testimonial Regarding Personnel Reform