HB109, which reforms IT in Utah state government passed the House today with one amendment. Rep. Ralph Becker's amendment, which essentially gutted the bill, failed. The bill is now before the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee.
The amendment further restricts the transfer of a current employee with merit status. Under the amendment, only employees transfered to positions with "duties ... substantially similar to those in the employee's previous position" retain merit status. This gives the new Executive Director (CIO) more power in crafting the new Department and will ensure a bigger percentage of its workers are at-will employees.
I don't think this goes far enough, but its probably as good as its going to get. I know that some in State government think me callous for saying that, but its not out of lack of concern for people who might lose their jobs. I empathize with them--I've been there. However, I think its more important to the taxpayer that the new department work and work efficiently. The "merit" system has created a welfare system out of the State employment system and that's not fair to the taxpayers or the employees. I wish the bill codified in some way that the new at-will employees will be better compensated, but that's not there either--that will be left to the discrecion of the new CIO. Unfortunately, I know what happens when you try to pay people what they're worth in State government.