Amendment S on the Nov. 6 election ballot makes several changes to the state classified personnel system, including increasing flexibility in hiring, modifying the residency requirement and expanding the veteransí preference.
The measure follows other workforce reforms contained in House Bill 12-1321, which was passed by the state Legislature, signed by the governor and took effect Sept. 1. Amendment S requires voter approval, because the changes affect provisions in the state Constitution.
If approved by voters the changes in Amendment S will be the first changes to the state personnel system since 1970 and will take effect on Jan. 1.
According to the state Department of Personnel and Administration, the areas affected by Amendment S include:
- Applicant selection. Currently, applicants must take a competitive test for jobs in the state personnel system. Amendment S allows the hiring authority to make an objective comparative analysis of desired qualifications, which could include judgment, demeanor and other factors that are difficult to assess through a written test. The current rules only allow hiring managers to consider the top three highest scoring applicants for a job. Amendment S allows twice as many applicants to be considered.
- Residency requirement: Under current state personnel rules, departments must seek waivers if they want to hire a non-Colorado resident. Amendment S allows individuals who hold positions within 30 miles of the state border to be exempt from the stateís residency requirement.
- State Personnel Board: Amendment S creates term limits for board members. It changes terms from 5 years to 3 years with a two-term limit. Also, it designates that two of the governorís three appointments to the board serve at the pleasure of governor within the set term limits.
- Temporary employment: Currently, temporary state employment is limited to 6 months. Amendment S expands temporary employment to 9 months within any 12-month period with a 4-month waiting period in between. It also prohibits the replacement of full-time permanent positions with temporary positions.
- Veteransí preference: The current system restricts veteransí use of preference points in their applications for state jobs. Amendment S allows veterans unlimited use of their preference points in the hiring process. The proposal restricts the use of preference points for promotional opportunities.
A provision of Amendment S on exempt positions does not apply to higher education institutions.
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