Republicans are now circulating a bill that makes sweeping changes to Wisconsin’s civil service system.
The legislation calls for tougher discipline standards, speeding up the hiring porcess, and eliminating the civil service exam job applicants are currently required to take. It also creates a shorter appeals process for actions against employees, creates a clearer definition of “just cause” in firing workers, and subjects new hires to a two year probationary period, instead of the current six months.
The sponsors, state Senator Roger Roth (R-Appleton) and Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), have said it’s needed to modernize the more than century-old system so state agencies can attract top talent. Critics worry it will only invite corruption and political cronyism to agency operations.
Republican leaders and Governor Scott Walker touted the benefits of the bill last week, but a draft was not made available until Monday. Possible co-sponsors have until Thursday to sign on and the sponsors say they hope to move the legislation through the Capitol by next month.