Counterproductive proposal to punish state agency hiring passes

A bill passed out of committee this week that would claw back appropriations from state agencies that are unable to fill open job positions within 180 days. Agency budgets would be reduced by the corresponding appropriation for the open position applicable in the fiscal years 2024-2025.

The proposal punishes state agencies for being unable to hire employees for difficult-to-fill positions. A similar provision in the 2019 State Government Omnibus bill also included drastic cuts to state agencies and salary freezes, which did not become law.

One important factor in unfilled agency positions is whether the state is offering competitive salaries relative to similar job classifications in the private sector or local governments. This can result in long-term unfilled agency positions because of the difficulty in recruiting qualified candidates for specialized roles, which is especially common for IT positions. (SF 411)