Governor, legislative leaders look to limit civil service protection

Both legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Bryant are proposing to limit Mississippi’s civil service protection, which has been a hallmark of most state governments for more than a century.

The civil service system was established to prevent elected political leaders from firing and replacing government employees with their supporters. In Mississippi, the civil service protection is granted through the Personnel Board.

In the budget recommendation for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, the Legislative Budget Committee is recommending “removing state employees from Personnel Board regulations.”

Last week when the budget proposal was released, both House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who head the 14-member Budget Committee, said removing the civil service protection would make for a more efficient and less costly state government.

Daily Journal