Introduced Version Senate Bill 4004 History

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Senate Bill No. 4004

(By Senators Tomblin, Mr. President, and Sprouse,

By Request of the Executive)


[Introduced September 7, 2005; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend and reenact §5F-2-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §29-6-10 of said code, all relating to the power and authority of department secretaries; and providing that department secretaries may transfer employees between departments.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §5F-2-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §29-6-10 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:


§5F-2-2. Power and authority of secretary of each department.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the secretary of each department shall have plenary power and authority within and for the department to:
(1) Employ and discharge within the office of the secretary employees as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the secretary, which employees shall serve at the will and pleasure of the secretary;
(2) Cause the various agencies and boards to be operated effectively, efficiently and economically, and develop goals, objectives, policies and plans that are necessary or desirable for the effective, efficient and economical operation of the department;
(3) Eliminate or consolidate positions, other than positions of administrators or positions of board members, and name a person to fill more than one position, and transfer employees between departments;
(4) Delegate, assign, transfer or combine responsibilities or duties to or among employees, other than administrators or board members;
(5) Reorganize internal functions or operations;
(6) Formulate comprehensive budgets for consideration by the Governor, and transfer within the department funds appropriated to the various agencies of the department which are not expended due to cost savings resulting from the implementation of the provisions of this chapter: Provided, That no more than twenty-five percent of the funds appropriated to any one agency or board may be transferred to other agencies or boards within the department: Provided, however, That no funds may be transferred from a special revenue account, dedicated account, capital expenditure account or any other account or funds specifically exempted by the Legislature from transfer, except that the use of appropriations from the State Road Fund transferred to the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation is not a use other than the purpose for which the funds were dedicated and is permitted: Provided further, That if the Legislature by subsequent enactment consolidates agencies, boards or functions, the appropriate secretary may transfer the funds formerly appropriated to the agency, board or function in order to implement consolidation. The authority to transfer funds under this section shall expire on the thirtieth day of June, two thousand five;
(7) Enter into contracts or agreements requiring the expenditure of public funds, and authorize the expenditure or obligation of public funds as authorized by law: Provided, That the powers granted to the secretary to enter into contracts or agreements and to make expenditures or obligations of public funds under this provision shall not exceed or be interpreted as authority to exceed the powers granted by the Legislature to the various commissioners, directors or board members of the various departments, agencies or boards that comprise and are incorporated into each secretary's department under this chapter;
(8) Acquire by lease or purchase property of whatever kind or character and convey or dispose of any property of whatever kind or character as authorized by law: Provided, That the powers granted to the secretary to lease, purchase, convey or dispose of such property shall not exceed or be interpreted as authority to exceed the powers granted by the Legislature to the various commissioners, directors or board members of the various departments, agencies or boards that comprise and are incorporated into each secretary's department under this chapter;
(9) Conduct internal audits;
(10) Supervise internal management;
(11) Promulgate rules, as defined in section two, article one, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to implement and make effective the powers, authority and duties granted and imposed by the provisions of this chapter in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code;
(12) Grant or withhold written consent to the proposal of any rule, as defined in section two, article one, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, by any administrator, agency or board within the department. Without written consent, no proposal for a rule shall have any force or effect;
(13) Delegate to administrators the duties of the secretary as the secretary may deem appropriate from time to time to facilitate execution of the powers, authority and duties delegated to the secretary; and
(14) Take any other action involving or relating to internal management not otherwise prohibited by law.
(b) The secretaries of the departments hereby created shall engage in a comprehensive review of the practices, policies and operations of the agencies and boards within their departments to determine the feasibility of cost reductions and increased efficiency which may be achieved therein, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The elimination, reduction and restriction of the state's vehicle or other transportation fleet;
(2) The elimination, reduction and restriction of state government publications, including annual reports, informational materials and promotional materials;
(3) The termination or rectification of terms contained in lease agreements between the state and private sector for offices, equipment and services;
(4) The adoption of appropriate systems for accounting, including consideration of an accrual basis financial accounting and reporting system;
(5) The adoption of revised procurement practices to facilitate cost-effective purchasing procedures, including consideration of means by which domestic businesses may be assisted to compete for state government purchases; and
(6) The computerization of the functions of the state agencies and boards.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, none of the powers granted to the secretaries herein shall be exercised by the secretary if to do so would violate or be inconsistent with the provisions of any federal law or regulation, any federal-state program or federally delegated program or jeopardize the approval, existence or funding of any program.
(d) The layoff and recall rights of employees within the classified service of the state as provided in subsections (5) and six, section ten, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code shall be limited to the organizational unit within the agency or board and within the occupational group established by the classification and compensation plan for the classified service of the agency or board in which the employee was employed prior to the agency or board's transfer or incorporation into the department: Provided, That the employee shall possess the qualifications established for the job class. The duration of recall rights provided in this subsection shall be limited to two years or the length of tenure, whichever is less. Except as provided in this subsection, nothing contained in this section shall be construed to abridge the rights of employees within the classified service of the state as provided in sections ten and ten-a, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code, or the right of classified employees of the Board of Regents to the procedures and protections set forth in article twenty-six-b, chapter eighteen of this code.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the secretary of each department with authority over programs which are payors for prescription drugs, including, but not limited to, the Public Employees Insurance Agency, the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Division of Corrections, the Division of Juvenile Services, the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, the Workers' Compensation Fund, state colleges and universities, public hospitals, state or local institutions including nursing homes and veteran's homes, the Division of Rehabilitation, public health departments, the Bureau of Medical Services and other programs that are payors for prescription drugs, shall cooperate with the Office of the Pharmaceutical Advocate established pursuant to section four, article sixteen-d, chapter five of this code for the purpose of purchasing prescription drugs for any program over which they have authority.

§29-6-10. Rules of division.
The board shall have the authority to promulgate, amend or repeal rules, according to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to implement the provisions of this article:
(1) For the preparation, maintenance and revision of a position classification plan for all positions in the classified service and a position classification plan for all positions in the classified-exempt service, based upon similarity of duties performed and responsibilities assumed, so that the same qualifications may reasonably be required for and the same schedule of pay may be equitably applied to all positions in the same class. Except for persons employed by the governing boards of higher education, all persons receiving compensation as a wage or salary, funded either in part or in whole by the state, are included in either the position classification plan for classified service or classified-exempt service. After each such classification plan has been approved by the board, the director shall allocate the position of every employee in the classified service to one of the classes in the classified plan and the position of every employee in the classified-exempt service to one of the positions in the classified-exempt plan. Any employee affected by the allocation of a position to a class shall, after filing with the director of personnel a written request for reconsideration thereof in such manner and form as the director may prescribe, be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard thereon by the director. The interested appointing authority shall be given like opportunity to be heard.
(2) For a pay plan for all employees in the classified service, after consultation with appointing authorities and the state fiscal officers, and after a public hearing held by the board. Such pay plan shall become effective only after it has been approved by the Governor after submission to him or her by the board. Amendments to the pay plan may be made in the same manner. Each employee shall be paid at one of the rates set forth in the pay plan for the class of position in which he or she is employed. The principle of equal pay for equal work in the several agencies of the state government shall be followed in the pay plan as established hereby.
(3) For open competitive examinations to test the relative fitness of applicants for the respective positions in the classified service. Such examinations need not be held until after the rules have been adopted, the service classified and a pay plan established, but shall be held not later than one year after this article takes effect. Such examinations shall be announced publicly at least fifteen days in advance of the date fixed for the filing of applications therefor, and may be advertised through the press, radio and other media. The director may, however, in his or her discretion, continue to receive applications and examine candidates long enough to assure a sufficient number of eligibles to meet the needs of the service and may add the names of successful candidates to existing eligible lists in accordance with their respective ratings.
An additional five points shall be awarded to the score of any examination successfully completed by a veteran. A disabled veteran shall be entitled to an additional ten points, rather than five points as aforesaid, upon successful completion of any examination.
(4) For promotions within the classified service which shall give appropriate consideration to the applicant's qualifications, record of performance, seniority and his or her score on a written examination, when such examination is practicable. An advancement in rank or grade or an increase in salary beyond the maximum fixed for the class shall constitute a promotion. When any benefit such as a promotion, wage increase or transfer is to be awarded, or when a withdrawal of a benefit such as a reduction in pay, a layoff or job termination is to be made, and a choice is required between two or more employees in the classified service as to who will receive the benefit or have the benefit withdrawn, and if some or all of the eligible employees have substantially equal or similar qualifications, consideration shall be given to the level of seniority of each of the respective employees as a factor in determining which of the employees will receive the benefit or have the benefit withdrawn, as the case may be. When an employee classified in a secretarial or clerical position has, irrespective of job classification, actual job experience related to the qualifications for a managerial or supervisory position, the division shall consider the experience as qualifying experience for the position. The division in its classification plan may, for designated classifications, permit substitution of qualifying experience for specific educational or training requirements at a rate determined by the division.
(5) For layoffs by classification for reason of lack of funds or work, or abolition of a position, or material changes in duties or organization, or any loss of position because of the provisions of this subdivision and for recall of employees so laid off, consideration shall be given to an employee's seniority as measured by permanent employment in the classified service or a state agency. In the event that the agency wishes to lay off a more senior employee, the agency must demonstrate that the senior employee cannot perform any other job duties held by less senior employees within that agency in the job class or any other equivalent or lower job class for which the senior employee is qualified: Provided, That if an employee refuses to accept a position in a lower job class, such employee shall retain all rights of recall as hereinafter provided.
(6) For department secretaries to enter into memoranda of understanding with other department secretaries to accomplish the interdepartmental transfer of tenured state employees along with the assets necessary to support such employees. To avoid layoffs in the event that it is necessary to eliminate or consolidate a position, a department secretary may enter into a memorandum of understanding with another department secretary to transfer an employee from a position that would otherwise be consolidated or eliminated to a position of need in another department. Prior to any such transfer, employees in the classification involving the proposed consolidation or elimination must be given a fifteen-day notice of the proposed transfer. During this notice period, such employees may agree to be voluntarily transferred to the targeted department. In the absence of sufficient volunteer(s), the least classified tenure employee shall be subject to transfer. Any classified-exempt position affected by such transfer shall be added to the classified service by issuance of an executive order and within the provisions of this article. Nothing in this subsection shall abridge any other rights provided in this article. The Board is authorized to promulgate emergency rules, prior to the first day of December, two thousand five, to incorporate the provisions of this subsection.
(6) (7) For recall of employees, recall shall be by reverse order of layoff to any job class that the employee has previously held or a lower class in the series within the agency as that job class becomes vacant. An employee will retain his or her place on the recall list for the same period of time as his or her seniority on the date of his or her layoff or for a period of two years, whichever is less. No new employees shall be hired for any vacancy in his or her job class or in a lower job class in the series until all eligible employees on layoff are given the opportunity to refuse that job class. An employee shall be recalled onto jobs within the county wherein his or her last place of employment is located or within a county contiguous thereto. Any laid-off employee who is eligible for a vacant position shall be notified by certified mail of the vacancy. It shall be the responsibility of the employee to notify the agency of any change in his or her address. Notwithstanding any other provision of the code to the contrary, except for the provisions of section seven, article two, chapter five-b of this code, when filling vacancies at state agencies the directors of state agencies shall, for a period of twelve months after the layoff of a permanent classified employee in another agency, give preference to qualified permanent classified employees based on seniority and fitness over all but existing employees of the agency or its facilities: Provided, That employment of these persons who are qualified and who were permanently employed immediately prior to their layoff shall not supersede the recall rights of employees who have been laid off in such agency or facility.
(7) (8) For the establishment of eligible lists for appointment and promotion within the classified service, upon which lists shall be placed the names of successful candidates in the order of their relative excellence in the respective examinations. Eligibility for appointment from any such list shall continue not longer than three years. An appointing authority shall make his or her selection from the top ten names on the appropriate lists of eligibles, or may choose any person scoring at or above the ninetieth percentile on the examination.
For the establishment of eligible lists for preference as provided in subdivision (6) (7) of this section, a list shall be provided according to seniority. An appointed authority shall make the selection of the most senior qualified person: Provided, That eligibility for appointment from any such list shall continue not longer than one year and shall cease immediately upon appointment to a classified position.
(8) (9) For the rejection of candidates or eligibles within the classified service who fail to comply with reasonable requirements in regard to such factors as age, physical condition, character, training and experience who are addicted to alcohol or narcotics or who have attempted any deception or fraud in connection with an examination.
(9) (10) For a period of probation not to exceed one year before appointment or promotion may be made complete within the classified service.
(10) (11) For provisional employment without competitive examination within the classified service when there is no appropriate eligible list available. No such provisional employment may continue longer than six months, nor shall successive provisional appointments be allowed, except during the first year after the effective date of this article, in order to avoid stoppage of orderly conduct of the business of the state.
(11) (12) For keeping records of performance of all employees in the classified service, which service records may be considered in determining salary increases and decreases provided in the pay plan; as a factor in promotion tests; as a factor in determining the order of layoffs because of lack of funds or work and in reinstatement; and as a factor in demotions, discharges and transfers.
(12) (13) For discharge or reduction in rank or grade only for cause of employees in the classified service. Discharge or reduction of these employees shall take place only after the person to be discharged or reduced has been presented with the reasons for such discharge or reduction stated in writing, and has been allowed a reasonable time to reply thereto in writing, or upon request to appear personally and reply to the appointing authority or his or her deputy: Provided, That upon an involuntary discharge for cause, the employer may require immediate separation from the workplace, or the employee may elect immediate separation. If separation is required by the employer in lieu of any advance notice of discharge, or if immediate separation is elected by an employee who receives notice of an involuntary discharge for cause, the employee is entitled to receive severance pay attributable to time the employee otherwise would have worked, up to a maximum of fifteen calendar days following separation. Receipt of severance pay does not affect any other right to which the employee is entitled with respect to the discharge. The statement of reasons and the reply shall be filed as a public record with the director. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subdivision, no permanent employee shall be discharged from the classified service for absenteeism upon using all entitlement to annual leave and sick leave when such use has been due to illness or injury as verified by a physician's certification or for other extenuating circumstances beyond the employee's control unless his or her disability is of such a nature as to permanently incapacitate him or her from the performance of the duties of his or her position. Upon exhaustion of annual leave and sick leave credits for the reasons specified herein and with certification by a physician that the employee is unable to perform his or her duties, a permanent employee shall be granted a leave of absence without pay for a period not to exceed six months if such employee is not permanently unable to satisfactorily perform the duties of his or her position.
(13) (14) For such other rules and administrative regulations, not inconsistent with this article, as may be proper and necessary for its enforcement.
(14) (15) The board shall review and approve by rules the establishment of all classified-exempt positions to assure consistent interpretation of the provisions of this article. The provisions of this section are subject to any modifications contained in chapter five-f of this code. The board may include in the rules provided for in this article such provisions as are necessary to conform to regulations and standards of any federal agency governing the receipt and use of federal grants-in-aid by any state agency, anything in this article to the contrary notwithstanding. The board and the director shall see that rules and practices meeting such standards are in effect continuously after the effective date of this article.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that department secretaries may transfer employees between departments in certain instances.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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