BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                              Senator Mark Leno, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:            AB 129          Hearing Date:    August 27,  
          |Author:   |Committee on Budget                                   |
          |Version:  |August 24, 2015    Amended                            |
          |Urgency:  |Yes                    |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
          |Consultant|Anita Lee                                             |
          |:         |                                                      |

                           Subject:  State civil service.

          Summary:This bill provides for statutory changes to enact state  
          civil service-related provisions of the Budget Act of 2015.
          Proposed Law:  This bill makes the following statutory changes  
          to laws governing the civil service system for state employees.  
          Specifically, this bill impacts two key areas of law governing  
          1) the competitive ranking of state civil service employees and  
          applicants, and 2) eligibility and hiring of state employees in  
          "Career Executive Assignments (CEA).
           Ranking of Civil Service Employees and Applicants:

          In general, state employment is based on a system of merit  
          achieved through competitive examination. Applicants for  
          promotion or employment are ranked based on exam scores and  
          employers may promote or hire from either the top three names or  
          ranks, as specified. An employee may receive a passing score on  
          an exam, but not score high enough to place in the top three  
          ranks, and therefore, may not be eligible for hire or promotion.  
          As people in the top three ranks are hired, promoted, or  
          otherwise fall off the hiring list, individuals who have passed  
          the exam may move up into the top three ranks and become  
          eligible for hire or promotion. Specifically, this bill:
           1.Eliminates the "Rule of Three Names," which requires hiring  
            managers to consider only the top three individuals on  
            promotional hiring eligibility lists whose examination scores  


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            result in them being in the top three names.

          2.Eliminates the "Rule of Six Ranks," which requires all  
            managerial hiring eligibility lists to be organized into six  
            ranks, depending on the scores applicants receive on the  
            classification's exam, and limits a department's hiring  
            manager to only consider applicants whose examination scores  
            result in them being in the top three ranks. 

          3.Eliminates the "Rule of One Rank," which requires departmental  
            hiring managers to only consider individuals whose examination  
            scores result in them being in the first rank for supervisory  

          4.Consolidates various hiring eligibility list requirements into  
            a single process, the "Rule of Three Ranks", which would apply  
            to all promotional or open state jobs. This change will allow  
            hiring managers to consider eligible persons whose examination  
            scores result in them being in the top three ranks for rank  
            and file and managerial lists, as specified.

          CEA Assignments

          CEAs are state employees in high-level managerial positions that  
          serve at the top levels in a department. Their responsibility  
          includes developing and implementing policy, and may serve in a  
          department director's cabinet or form a department's executive  

          In general, CEAs in state employment must be hired from among  
          individuals with permanent civil service status. In addition,  
          CEA applicants can include legislative employees, executive  
          branch appointees (i.e., exempt employees), or former military,  
          as specified. CEAs are not subject to the same job protections  
          or hiring and disciplinary standards as apply to non-executive  
          state civil service employees. CEAs may be terminated "at will."  
          CEAs must be hired or promoted via a competitive process that is  
          overseen by the State Personnel Board (SPB). Former civil  
          service employees who become CEAs and are subsequently  
          terminated have certain rights to return to civil service  
          positions following termination, as specified. 

          This bill expands the pool of CEA candidates by making the  
          following changes: 


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          5.Eliminates the requirement that a former legislative or  
            non-elected exempt employee be separated from employment for  
            no more than 12 months prior to applying for the CEA position.  

          6.Expands the pool of eligible candidates that can be appointed  
            to a CEA position to include individuals from the private  
            sector who meet the requirements of the applicable position. 

          7.Provides terminated CEAs hired from outside state civil  
            service the right to appeal to the State Personnel Board for  
            restoration of their assignment. 

          8.Clarifies that terminated CEAs who were previously employed by  
            the state and had permanent civil service status, have return  
            rights to a (non-CEA) civil service position, with at least  
            the same salary level as the last position they held. If the  
            employee had a minimum of five years of state service, he or  
            she may return to a position that has the same salary level as  
            the last position or at least the same salary level that is at  
            least two steps lower than the CEA position from which the  
            employee is being terminated. These provisions are consistent  
            with existing law.

            Additionally, this bill states that terminated CEAs hired from  
            outside civil service would be eligible to compete in any  
            promotional examination for which they meet the minimum  
            qualifications. Employees with passing scores shall have their  
            names placed on promotional hiring lists.

          9.Eliminates rules prohibiting a CEA applicant from competing in  
            multiple civil service promotional exams at more than one  
            department in the same class. 

          10.  Provides $300,000 one-time General Fund for the Department  
            of Finance to post all budget requests included as a part of  
            the Governor's Budget on DOF's website. The funds will be used  
            to purchase of high-speed industrial scanners and additional  
            software programming. 

          Fiscal Effect:$300,000 General Fund on a one-time basis. 
          Support:  None on file. 
          Opposed:  None on  


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