BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                              Senator Mark Leno, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

        Bill No:            AB 129          Hearing Date:    August 27, 2015
        |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 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  


        AB 129 (Committee on Budget)                            Page 2 of ?
          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  

        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  

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

        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  


        AB 129 (Committee on Budget)                            Page 3 of ?
          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 for deferred examination  
          for any open position at the department they were employed at and  
          meet the minimum qualifications. 

        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  

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