Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed HB12-1321, moving forward a "Talent Agenda" approved by the General Assembly this spring to improve the state's personnel system.
"To continue to attract top talent to the state workforce, we must modernize a personnel system that has not seen significant change in nine decades," Hickenlooper said. "The Talent Agenda focuses on increasing flexibility in hiring, improving the employee compensation structure and moving the workforce environment into the 21st century."
HB12-1321 contains statutory changes to the personnel system that will take effect Sept. 1, 2012. The legislation begins to address challenges that face state employees, for example:
* It eliminates the out-of-date "pay for performance" system and creates a system that will increase the wages of state employees who are stuck at the bottom of the pay scale.
* It better rewards employees through performance and tenure.
* It provides state employees more certainty in layoffs by eliminating "bumping"-- a change that will create more certainty when there are shifts or reductions in the state workforce.
* It adds new rights for employees who ultimately get laid off, such as severance pay, retraining and placement elsewhere in state system. Seniority and performance will continue to be guideposts in any layoff plan.
The General Assembly this spring also approved HCR-1001, which increases the flexibility of the state's personnel system. The changes proposed in this referred measure must be approved by voters because the personnel rules are embedded in the Colorado Constitution. The measure will appear on the November ballot as Amendment S.
"This ballot measure continues the work we've started with changing the state's personnel system," Hickenlooper said. "The changes would give state government more flexibility in retaining and recruiting top talent and would make Colorado and even more military-friendly state."
HB12-1321 was sponsored by Reps. Mark Ferrandino and Glenn Vaad and Sens. Keith King and Mike Johnston. The bill, as well as HCR-1001, was approved by a bipartisan majority of the General Assembly.