House Bill 104, State Employee Amendments sponsored by Representative Christofferson was heard in the Government Operations Committee on Thursday, January 27. HB104 provides current supervisors with the option of converting from career status to at-will status – those that opt to forfeit their career service protections would receive a 5% pay increase. UPEA proposed language to place protections in statute for the supervisors who choose the at-will status option. These guard rails would have provided limited grievance protections. The bill sponsor declined the language. The dismissal of UPEA’s proposed language resulted in the UPEA Board of Directors’ decision to send out a communication to the membership encouraging them to contact members of the House Government Operations Standing Committee.
Representative Christofferson posted a substitute to HB104 the morning of Thursday, Jan 27. The substitute sought to transition all state employees to at-will status. UPEA lobbyists immediately took action by contacting committee members and pulling them off the house floor to discuss the drastic changes presented in the substitute.
Click here to listen to the full committee hearing & discussion
Representative Christofferson presented 1st Substitute House Bill 104 in the House Government Operations Standing Committee only hours later. Committee members debated the substitute bill, many legislators acknowledged the numerous emails they received from state employees who expressed their concern regarding the substitute bill.
UPEA lobbyist, Kory Holdaway, testified against the substitute bill, expressing frustration at the last-minute diversion from the original bill and the unwillingness by the sponsor to collaborate on language.
The committee did not adopt the proposed substitute bill.
After the debate, the Government Operations Committee voted to pass HB 104 in its original form, with a favorable 7-3 recommendation. The bill now moves to the House floor for debate and consideration.
UPEA will continue to work with all stakeholders to represent the best interests of state employees. Keep an eye out for further communication from UPEA.
THANK YOU to our members who contacted the House Government Operations Standing Committee. Your voice helped defeat the substitute attempting to move all state employees to at-will status.