2003 Regular Session
By: Representative Mitchell
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-9-115, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DIRECT THE STATE PERSONNEL BOARD TO PROVIDE A MINIMUM SALARY OF ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS PER MONTH FOR ALL FULL-TIME STATE SERVICE EMPLOYEES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-9-115, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-9-115. It shall be the specific duty and function of the State Personnel Board to:
(a) Represent the public interest in the improvement of personnel administration in the state departments, agencies and institutions covered by the State Personnel System;
(b) Determine appropriate goals and objectives for the State Personnel System and prescribe policies for their accomplishment, with the assistance of the Mississippi Personnel Advisory Council;
(c) Adopt and amend policies, rules and regulations establishing and maintaining the State Personnel System. Such rules and regulations shall not be applicable to the emergency hiring of employees by the Public Employees' Retirement System pursuant to Section 25-11-15(7). The rules and regulations of the Mississippi Classification Commission and the Mississippi Coordinated Merit System Council serving federal grant-aided agencies in effect on February 1, 1981, shall remain in effect until amended, changed, modified or repealed by the board;
(d) Ensure uniformity in all functions of personnel administration in those agencies required to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The board may delegate authority to the State Personnel Director as deemed necessary for the timely, effective and efficient implementation of the State Personnel System;
(e) Appoint an employee appeals board, consisting of three (3) hearing officers, for the purpose of holding hearings, compiling evidence and rendering decisions on employee dismissals and other personnel matters as provided for in Sections 25-9-127 through 25-9-131. Hearing officers are not entitled to serve beyond their appointed term unless reappointed by the State Personnel Board;
(f) Assure uniformity in the administration of state and federal laws relating to merit administration;
(g) Establish an annual budget covering all the costs of board operations;
(h) With the assistance of the Mississippi Personnel Advisory Council, promote public understanding of the purposes, policies and practices of the State Personnel System and advise and assist the state departments, agencies and institutions in fostering sound principles of personnel management and securing the interest of institutions of learning and of civic, professional and other organizations in the improvement of personnel standards under the State Personnel System;
(i) Recommend policies and procedures for the establishment and abolishment of employment positions within state government and develop a system for the efficient use of personnel resources;
(j) Cooperate with state institutions of higher learning in implementing a career management program in state agencies for graduate students in public administration in order to provide state government with a steady flow of professional public managerial talent;
(k) Prescribe rules which shall provide that an employee in state service is not obliged, by reason of his employment, to contribute to a political fund or to render political service, and that he may not be removed or otherwise prejudiced for refusal to do so;
(l) Prescribe rules which shall provide that an employee in state service shall not use his official authority or influence to coerce the political action of a person or body;
(m) Annually report to the Governor and Legislature on the operation of the State Personnel System and the status of personnel administration in state government;
(n) Require submission and approve organization and staffing plans of departments and agencies in state and nonstate service on such forms and according to such regulations as the board may prescribe to control and limit the growth of subordinate executive and administrative units and positions and to provide for agency staff reorganization without prior board approval when authority to reorganize has been delegated to an agency as provided in paragraph (p);
(o) In coordination with appointing authorities, set the annual salaries of those appointed officials whose salaries are not otherwise set by statute who work on a full-time basis in the capacity of agency head, executive director or administrator of any state department, agency, institution, board or commission under the jurisdiction of the State Personnel Board as provided in Section 25-9-101 et seq., in conformity with the State Personnel Board's compensation plan. Salaries of incumbents required by law to serve in their professional capacity as a physician, dentist, veterinarian or attorney shall be set in accordance with Section 25-9-107(c)(xiii);
(p) Authorize the director to enter into formal agreements with department executive directors and agency directors in which employment positions within their agencies may be reallocated and organization charts amended without prior State Personnel Board approval; however, such agreements shall be revocable by the State Personnel Board and continuation shall be contingent upon the reallocations and reorganizations being conducted in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the State Personnel Board. In the event the State Personnel Board has delegated reallocation authority to an agency, this delegation does not remove the requirement that agencies submit personal services budget requests each fiscal year for the purpose of preparing personal services continuation budget projections. Such budget requests shall be prepared in accordance with the policies, rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Finance and Administration, the Legislative Budget Office and the State Personnel Board. Prior to making any reallocation or reorganization effective, each appointing authority who has entered into an agreement as provided in this paragraph shall certify to the State Personnel Board that the total annualized cost of any reallocation or reorganization shall be equal to or less than the cost savings generated through downward reallocation or position abolishment of vacant positions.
The personnel board shall maintain a record of every personnel transaction executed under authority delegated pursuant to this paragraph and shall annually report the total cost of these transactions, by agency, to the Legislative Budget Office and the Department of Finance and Administration.
The State Personnel Board shall prescribe rules requiring the State Personnel Director to perform a compliance audit and evaluation of personnel transactions executed under authority delegated pursuant to this paragraph and to publish a report of the audit listing exceptions taken by the State Personnel Director not later than the first of October each year. In the event the State Personnel Board determines that an agency has misclassified an employee or position as a result of this delegated authority, the State Personnel Board shall be authorized to correct such misclassification regardless of the state service status of the employee holding such position. Authority to correct such misclassifications of filled positions shall be limited to one (1) year from the date which the State Personnel Board receives written notice of the reallocation;
(q) Require that if an employment position has been determined to be in need of reallocation from one occupational class to another, the employee occupying the position shall meet the minimum qualifications for the occupational class to which the position is being reallocated in order for the position to be eligible for the reallocation. However, when a reallocation is based upon an agency reorganization due to documented funds constraints, documented change in agency function, or legislative mandate, a position may be reallocated with prior approval of the State Personnel Board;
(r) Implement a reduction-in-force policy which shall apply uniformly to all state agencies and which shall require that the appointing authority develop an equitable and systematic plan for implementation of an agency-wide reduction-in-force. If a proposed reduction-in-force is the result of a curtailment of general funds, the State Personnel Board shall review the proposed reduction-in-force plan only upon written certification of a general funds shortage from the Department of Finance and Administration. If a proposed reduction-in-force is the result of a curtailment of special funds, the State Personnel Board shall review the proposed reduction-in-force plan only upon written certification of a special funds shortage from the agency. Further, the State Personnel Board shall ensure that any reduction-in-force plan complies with all applicable policies, rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board;
(s) Implement a furlough (involuntary leave without pay) policy which shall apply uniformly to all executive and subordinate employees within an agency, regardless of job class. The State Personnel Board shall review furlough plans only upon written certification of a general funds shortage from the Department of Finance and Administration or written certification of a special funds shortage from the agency. The State Personnel Board shall ensure that any furlough plan complies with all applicable policies, rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board;
(t) Establish policies which preclude any employee under the salary setting authority of the State Personnel Board from receiving an annual salary greater than the Governor,
and any employee within an agency from receiving an annual salary greater than the agency head. Employees currently receiving an annual salary exceeding the Governor or their agency head may retain their present salary but shall not receive an increase until such time as the provisions of this paragraph are met.
(u) Provide a minimum salary of One Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($1,200.00) per month gross pay for all state service employees who hold full-time positions.
This section shall stand repealed from and after June 30, 2004.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.