Fitzgerald Says He Wants To Move Quickly On Civil Service Bill

Measure Would Make Major Changes To How State Hires, Fires Workers

Scott Fitzgerald
Shawn Johnson/WPR

The Republican leader of the state Senate says he wants to move quickly next year on a bill that would rewrite Wisconsin’s civil service laws.

The civil service bill, which passed the Assembly in October, would speed up the process for hiring and firing state workers and replace the civil service exam with a more subjective resume-based system.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he wants his chamber to pass the bill in January. He said the measure wouldn’t end civil service — it will only change it.

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“The marquee problem we’re trying to solve is that area of, it’s taking six to eight months to hire somebody right now, and that’s just unacceptable,” said Fitzgerald.

The plan got hung up over a provision that would protect people from answering questions about their criminal records on initial job applications. Fitzgerald said that issue would be worked out, though he wouldn’t say how.

Democrats have said the plan will lead to a state workforce where people are hired and fired based on politics, not merit.