HBA-LJP H.B. 3445 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3445 By: Gallego State Affairs 3/28/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The State Auditor's Office compiles reports with the cooperation of state agencies and groups related to institutions of higher education, including reports examining the current status of state employment practices in Texas. With a strong employment market, state employment turnover rates are increasing and are costly to state agencies. Providing monetary and non-monetary rewards and benefits may help reduce turnover and encourage and attract new employees. House Bill 3445 provides state agencies more latitude in human resource management decisions. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 3445 amends the Government Code to require a classification officer to review new exempt positions of employment created by an executive order from the governor and provide recommendations on the appropriate position classification title and salary group for these positions to the legislature during the appropriations process (Sec. 654.0125). The bill requires the classification officer, in consultation with the comptroller, to develop guidelines and procedures that state departments, agencies, and judicial entities under the position classification plan shall use to gather and report information on the reasons employees leave state employment. The bill also requires the classification officer to periodically report findings or recommendations on employee turnover to the Legislative Audit Committee (Sec. 654.0371). The bill authorizes a state agency to pay a shift differential not to exceed 15 percent of the monthly pay rate to an employee who works an evening shift or a night shift and to pay a weekend shift differential not to exceed five percent of the monthly pay rate to an employee who works on weekends. The bill requires an agency that implements a shift differential program to develop policies governing payment of shift differentials consistent with state standards and sets forth the contents of these policies (Sec. 659.024). The bill repeals current provisions prohibiting an employee from advancing to a higher step number after having the employee's position reallocated or reclassified. The bill authorizes the paying of an employee at any rate within the salary group range of the reclassified position. The bill requires the salary increases resulting from these actions to count against the maximum amount a state agency spends for adjustments to salary rates of, merit salary increases in, and promotions to classified positions during a fiscal year (Sec. 659.254). The bill also authorizes a state agency to adjust an employee's salary within the employee's current salary group, in accordance with significant changes in the job market or in order to maintain equitable internal salary relationships (Sec. 659.262). The bill repeals the provision that an employee is not eligible for a merit salary increase or one-time merit payment before six months has elapsed since the employee received an enhanced compensation award authorized by the General Appropriations Act (Sec. 659.255). The bill expands provisions relating to temporary assignments to include all employees of the state (Sec. 659.260). The bill also repeals provisions relating to the salary and salary schedule under an interagency contract (Sec. 751.012). The bill provides that an agency's strategic plan includes an assessment of the agency's future workforce needs and a description of strategies with stipulated information to ensure that the future of the workforce needs of the agency are met according to criteria and guidelines developed by the state classification officer (Sec. 2056.002). The bill also authorizes a state agency to use appropriated money to pay the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in moving the household property only for a newly hired state employee who has been hired in a classified or exempt position that is identified as critical by the administrative head of a state agency (Sec. 2113.204). The bill repeals provisions relating to the audit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by the state auditor and the requirement of the state auditor to review biennially the standards adopted by the department relating to the eligibility of a person to receive credit as a custodial officer (Sec. 813.506). The bill requires a state agency to prepare a written statement, rather than file the statement with the state auditor, that covers the policies and procedures for an extension leave that is an exception to the amount of sick leave that is available to an employee (Sec. 661.206). The bill provides that the time an employee accrues vacation leave and sick leave at the applicable rate ends on the last day upon which the employee actually performs duties associated with the employee's position (Secs. 661.152 and 661.202). The bill amends the Labor Code to add vacation leave, overtime, and compensatory time to provisions relating to an employee electing to use all or any amount of accrued time before receiving income benefits (Sec. 501.044). The bill raises, from the 30th day to the 60th day after the date an employee is hired by an agency, the time period that each employee has to attend the required employment discrimination training program (Sec. 21.010). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.