House passes Haslam's civil service changes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The House has approved Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to overhaul state civil service rules after agreeing to changes needed to bring the Tennessee State Employees Association on board.

The measure passed 74-19 on Wednesday would make it easier for the executive branch employees to be hired and fired, and would allow for more targeted merit raises for high performing workers.

Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville, who carried the House bill on behalf of the Haslam administration, noted that negotiations with the TSEA had resulted in about 20 changes to the original bill -- including that seniority will still be a factor in making decisions on staffing changes.

The companion bill was scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Thursday.

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