Senate Bill Would End Job Protections For 2 Years

Mississippi state government agencies could get two years to fire employees without following civil service rules.

Senate Bill 2380, passed Thursday on a 29-19 vote, removes protections currently enforced by the state Personnel Board.

Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, both Republicans, are pushing the measure, saying it will make it easier for agencies to slim down. Reeves said he would like to go further and consider permanent abolishment of civil service protections.

Opponents said the bill would allow agency heads to fire employees because they don’t like them or because they are political foes. They also note that agencies have laid off more than 500 employees through the existing state layoff process since 2010.