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Civil Service Reform Bill Advances in Senate

May 24, 2018 • by The Offices of Senators Mike Folmer and Randy Vulakovich
PA Senate Seal

Senate Bill 1037, introduced by Senators Mike Folmer (R-48) and Randy Vulakovich (R-38), to modernize the state’s Civil Service Commission, was unanimously approved this week by the Senate State Government Committee.

The legislation streamlines the Commission by transferring several responsibilities to the Commonwealth’s Office of Administration, including merit-based hiring, civil service applications, certifications, examinations and promotions.

Building upon the passage of Act 69 of 2016, which brought modest changes by allowing the Commission to – among other things – notify applicants of job openings or tests by email, expand its “Rule of Three” provision and establish “vacancy-based hiring,” Senators Folmer and Vulakovich introduced Senate Bill 1037 to further modernize the Commission.

“For over 75 years, the Civil Service Commission has had two prime responsibilities: merit-based hiring and appeals from employment decisions,” said Senator Folmer, who chairs the Senate State Government Committee. “Our legislation would allow the Commission to focus on appeals, while consolidating the Commonwealth’s merit-based hiring into the Office of Administration. These changes will better serve the needs of 21st Century job applicants.”

Senator Folmer’s committee held a public hearing in April to hear testimony from state agencies, and veterans groups on the bill. The proposed legislation will not impact veterans’ preference.

“Government streamlining has been an ongoing goal during my tenure in the Senate and House, and this legislation continues those reform efforts” said Senator Vulakovich. “It is clear that additional Civil Service reform is necessary so that the agency’s customers – those seeking employment with the Commonwealth – receive the customer service they deserve.”

The legislation is supported by the Office of Administration and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The legislation now advances to the full Senate for consideration.

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