Assembly passes bill that would make it easier to hire, fire state workers

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MADISON — The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill making it easier to hire and fire state workers.

The measure passed Tuesday now heads to the Senate, which is not expected to take it up until early next year.

The bill makes a number of changes to the state’s 110-year-old civil service system covering about 30,000 workers.

Changes include doing away with a required civil service exam, centralizing hiring decisions within the Department of Administration, and basing layoffs primarily on an employee’s job performance, not seniority.

Democrats and unions oppose the measure, saying it will weaken worker protections and increase the risk of cronyism.

The Assembly voted 57-35 to pass the bill, with all Republicans in support and Democrats against.