Bill Text: MS SB2603 | 2020 | Regular Session | Engrossed


Bill Title: State Personnel Board; exempt personnel actions of the Attorney General's office from.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-03-25 - Referred To Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency;Appropriations [SB2603 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2020-SB2603-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2020 Regular Session

To: Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency

By: Senator(s) Branning

Senate Bill 2603

(As Passed the Senate)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-9-127, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT, FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR, THE PERSONNEL ACTIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM CERTAIN STATE PERSONNEL BOARD PROCEDURES; TO AMEND SECTION 7-5-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT CERTAIN EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE FROM CERTAIN STATE PERSONNEL BOARD PROCEDURES; TO AMEND SECTION 25-3-39, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT CERTAIN EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE FROM THE CEILING ESTABLISHED FOR SALARIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 25-9-127, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     25-9-127.  (1)  No employee of any department, agency or institution who is included under this chapter or hereafter included under its authority, and who is subject to the rules and regulations prescribed by the state personnel system, may be dismissed or otherwise adversely affected as to compensation or employment status except for inefficiency or other good cause, and after written notice and hearing within the department, agency or institution as shall be specified in the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board complying with due process of law; and any employee who has by written notice of dismissal or action adversely affecting his compensation or employment status shall, on hearing and on any appeal of any decision made in such action, be required to furnish evidence that the reasons stated in the notice of dismissal or action adversely affecting his compensation or employment status are not true or are not sufficient grounds for the action taken; provided, however, that this provision shall not apply (a) to persons separated from any department, agency or institution due to curtailment of funds or reduction in staff when such separation is in accordance with rules and regulations of the state personnel system; (b) during the probationary period of state service of twelve (12) months; and (c) to an executive officer of any state agency who serves at the will and pleasure of the Governor, board, commission or other appointing authority.

     (2)  The operation of a state-owned motor vehicle without a valid Mississippi driver's license by an employee of any department, agency or institution that is included under this chapter and that is subject to the rules and regulations of the state personnel system shall constitute good cause for dismissal of such person from employment.

     (3)  Beginning July 1, 1999, every male between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26) who is required to register under the federal Military Selective Service Act, 50 USCS App. 453, and who is an employee of the state shall not be promoted to any higher position of employment with the state until he submits to the person, commission, board or agency by which he is employed satisfactory documentation of his compliance with the draft registration requirements of the Military Selective Service Act.  The documentation shall include a signed affirmation under penalty of perjury that the male employee has complied with the requirements of the Military Selective Service Act.

     (4)  For a period of two (2) years beginning July 1, 2014, the provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply to the personnel actions of the State Department of Education that are subject to the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board, and all employees of the department shall be classified as nonstate service during that period.  However, any employee hired after July 1, 2014, by the department shall meet the criteria of the State Personnel Board as it presently exists for employment.  The State Superintendent of Public Education and the State Board of Education shall consult with the Office of the Attorney General before taking personnel actions authorized by this section to review those actions for compliance with applicable state and federal law.

     It is not the intention or effect of this section to include any school attendance officer in any exemption from coverage under the State Personnel Board policy or regulations, including, but not limited to, termination and conditions of employment.

     (5)  (a)  For a period of two (2) years beginning July 1, 2015, the provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply to the personnel actions of the Department of Corrections, and all employees of the department shall be classified as nonstate service during that period.  However, any employee hired after July 1, 2015, by the department shall meet the criteria of the State Personnel Board as it presently exists for employment.

          (b)  Additionally, for a period of one (1) year beginning July 1, 2016, the personnel actions of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections shall be exempt from State Personnel Board rules, regulations and procedures in order to give the commissioner flexibility in making an orderly, effective and timely reorganization and realignment of the department.

          (c)  The Commissioner of Corrections shall consult with the Office of the Attorney General before personnel actions authorized by this section to review those actions for compliance with applicable state and federal law.

     (6)  Through July 1, 2020, the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to the personnel actions of the Department of Human Services that are subject to the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board, and all employees of the department shall be classified as nonstate service during that period.  Any employee hired on or after July 1, 2020, by the department shall meet the criteria of the State Personnel Board as it presently exists for employment.  The Executive Director of Human Services shall consult with the Office of the Attorney General before taking personnel actions authorized by this section to review those actions for compliance with applicable state and federal law.

     (7)  Through July 1, 2020, the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to the personnel actions of the Department of Child Protection Services that are subject to the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board, and all employees of the department shall be classified as nonstate service during that period.  Any employee hired on or after July 1, 2020, by the division shall meet the criteria of the State Personnel Board as it presently exists for employment.  The Commissioner of Child Protection Services shall consult with the Office of the Attorney General before taking personnel actions authorized by this section to review those actions for compliance with applicable state and federal law.

     (8)  For a period of one (1) year beginning July 1, 2020, the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to the personnel actions of the Office of the Attorney General that are subject to the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board, and all employees of the office shall be classified as nonstate service during that period.  Any employee hired on or after July 1, 2021, by the division shall meet the criteria of the State Personnel Board as it presently exists for employment.

     ( * * *89)  Any state agency whose personnel actions are exempted in this section from the rules, regulations and procedures of the State Personnel Board shall file with the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the members of the Senate and House Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committees an annual report no later than July 1, 2016, and each year thereafter while under the exemption.  Such annual report shall contain the following information:

          (a)  The number of current employees who received an increase in salary during the past fiscal year and the amount of the increase;

          (b)  The number of employees who were dismissed from the agency or otherwise adversely affected as to compensation or employment status during the past fiscal year, including a description of such adverse effects; and

          (c)  The number of new employees hired during the past fiscal year and the starting salaries of each new employee.

     SECTION 2.  Section 7-5-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     7-5-9.  (1)  The Attorney General shall have the power to employ a suitable and competent person or persons who possess professional skill and/or expert knowledge when such employment shall be necessary in order to enable him to efficiently perform the official duties imposed upon him by law, and he may pay such person or persons reasonable compensation as may be agreed upon, provided such compensation shall not exceed the compensation usually paid for similar services by private employers of such persons.  The compensation and necessary expenses of such employees shall be paid out of the Attorney General's contingent fund or out of funds especially appropriated for such purposes.

     (2)  However, during the one-year period beginning July 1, 2020, individuals employed pursuant to provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not be subject to the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board.  All personnel hired within the period of the exemption from the state personnel system shall be classified as nonstate service and must meet the criteria of the State Personnel Board as it presently exists for employment.

     SECTION 3.  Section 25-3-39, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     25-3-39.  (1)  (a)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, no public officer, public employee, administrator, or executive head of any arm or agency of the state, in the executive branch of government, shall be paid a salary or compensation, directly or indirectly, greater than one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary fixed in Section 25-3-31 for the Governor, nor shall the salary of any public officer, public employee, administrator, or executive head of any arm or agency of the state, in the executive branch of government, be supplemented with any funds from any source, including federal or private funds.  Such salaries shall be completely paid by the state.  All academic officials, members of the teaching staffs and employees of the state institutions of higher learning, the Mississippi Community College Board, and community and junior colleges, and licensed physicians who are public employees, shall be exempt from this subsection.  All professional employees who hold a bachelor's degree or more advanced degree from an accredited four-year college or university or a certificate or license issued by a state licensing board, commission or agency and who are employed by the Department of Mental Health shall be exempt from this subsection if the State Personnel Board approves the exemption.  The Commissioner of Child Protection Services is exempt from this subsection.  From and after July 1, 2018, the Executive Director of the Public Employees' Retirement System and the Chief Investment Officer of the Public Employees' Retirement System shall be exempt from this subsection.

          (b)  The Governor shall fix the annual salary of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, the annual salary of the Commissioner of Child Protection Services, and the annual salary of the Chief of Staff of the Governor's Office.  The salary of the Governor's Chief of Staff shall not be greater than one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary of the Governor and shall be completely paid by the state without supplementation from another source.  The salary of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority may be greater than one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary of the Governor and may be supplemented with funds from any source, including federal or private funds; however, any state funds used to pay the salary of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority shall not exceed one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary of the Governor.  If the executive director's salary is supplemented with private funds, the Mississippi Development Authority shall publish on its website the amount of the supplement and the name of the donor of the private funds.

     (2)  No public officer, employee or administrator shall be paid a salary or compensation, directly or indirectly, in excess of the salary authorized to be paid the executive head of the state agency or department in which he is employed.  The State Personnel Board, based upon its findings of fact, may exempt individuals employed pursuant to Section 7-5-9, certain attorneys employed by the Attorney General's office, physicians and actuaries from this subsection when the acquisition of such professional services is precluded based on the prevailing wage in the relevant labor market.

     (3)  The executive head of any state agency or department appointed by the Governor, in such executive head's discretion, may waive all or any portion of the salary or compensation lawfully established for the position.

     SECTION 4.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.


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