Civil service bill supporters say it will strengthen system
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Supporters of a Republican-backed bill that would make it easier to hire or fire Wisconsin state employees are defending it against claims it will lead to political patronage and cronyism.
Opponents including Democrats and state employee union leaders said at a Senate hearing Tuesday that it will erode protections workers have under the 110-year-old civil service system.
The bill is moving quickly through the Legislature and could be debated in the Senate and Assembly later this month.
Jim Thiel, representing the Association of Career Employees, says the bill is not needed and won't solve the problems it's intended to address.
But members of Gov. Scott Walker's administration say it will modernize the hiring system and make it easier to quickly fill vacancies.