2005 -- S 117 SUBSTITUTE A AS AMENDED
A N A C T
RELATING TO PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES -- MERIT SYSTEM
Introduced By: Senators Lenihan, Cote, Sheehan, Sosnowski, and Polisena
Date Introduced: January 20, 2005
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Sections 36-4-2, 36-4-16, 36-4-16.2 and 36-4-16.4 of the General Laws in
Chapter 36-4 entitled "Merit System" are hereby amended to read as follows:
36-4-2. Positions in unclassified service. -- The classified service shall comprise all
positions in the state service now existing or hereinafter established, except the following specific
positions which with other positions heretofore or hereinafter specifically exempted by legislative
act shall constitute the unclassified service:
(1) Officers and legislators elected by popular vote and persons appointed to fill
vacancies in elective offices.
(2) Employees of both houses of the general assembly.
(3) Officers, secretaries, and employees of the office of the governor, office of the
lieutenant governor, department of state, department of the attorney general, and the treasury
(4) Members of boards and commissions appointed by the governor, members of the
state board of elections and the appointees of the board, members of the commission for human
rights and the employees of the commission, and directors of departments.
(5) The following specific offices:
(i) In the department of administration: director, chief information officer;
(ii) In the department of business regulation: director;
(iii) In the department of elementary and secondary education: commissioner of
elementary and secondary education;
(iv) In the department of higher education: commissioner of higher education;
(v) In the department of health: director;
(vi) In the department of labor and training: director, administrative assistant,
administrator of the labor board and legal counsel to the labor board;
(vii) In the department of environmental management: director;
(viii) In the department of transportation: director;
(ix) In the department of human services: director;
(x) In the state properties committee: secretary;
(xi) In the workers' compensation court: judges, administrator, deputy administrator,
clerk, assistant clerk, clerk secretary;
(xii) In the department of elderly affairs: director;
(xiii) In the department of mental health, retardation, and hospitals: director;
(xiv) In the department of corrections: director, assistant director
(institutions/operations), assistant director (rehabilitative services), assistant director
(administration), and wardens;
(xv) In the department of children, youth and families: director, one assistant director,
one associate director, and one executive director;
(xvi) In the public utilities commission: public utilities administrator;
(xvii) In the water resources board: general manager.
(6) Chief of the hoisting engineers, licensing division, and his or her employees;
executive director of the veterans memorial building and his or her clerical employees.
(7) One confidential stenographic secretary for each director of a department and each
board and commission appointed by the governor.
(8) Special counsel, special prosecutors, regular and special assistants appointed by the
attorney general, the public defender and employees of his or her office, and members of the
Rhode Island bar occupying a position in the state service as legal counsel to any appointing
(9) The academic and/or commercial teaching staffs of all state institution schools, with
the exception of those institutions under the jurisdiction of the board of regents for elementary
and secondary education and the board of governors for higher education.
(10) Members of the military or naval forces, when entering or while engaged in the
military or naval service.
(11) Judges, referees, receivers, clerks, assistant clerks, and clerical assistants of the
supreme, superior, family, and district courts, the traffic tribunal, jurors and any persons
appointed by any court.
(12) Election officials and employees.
(13) Administrator, executive high sheriff, sheriffs, chief deputy sheriffs, deputy sheriffs,
and other employees of the sheriff's division within the department of administration and security
officers of the traffic tribunal.
(14) Patient or inmate help in state charitable, penal, and correctional institutions and
religious instructors of these institutions and student nurses in training, residents in psychiatry in
training, and clinical clerks in temporary training at the institute of mental health within the state
of Rhode Island medical center.
(15) (i) Persons employed to make or conduct a temporary and special inquiry,
investigation, project or examination on behalf of the legislature or a committee therefor, or on
behalf of any other agency of the state if the inclusion of these persons in the unclassified service
is approved by the personnel administrator. The personnel administrator shall notify the house
fiscal advisor and the senate fiscal advisor whenever he or she approves the inclusion of a person
in the unclassified service.
(ii) The duration of the appointment of a person, other than the persons enumerated in
section, shall not exceed ninety (90) days or until presented to the
pay plan board. department of administration. The unclassified
pay plan board department of
administration may extend the appointment another ninety (90) days. In no event shall the
appointment extend beyond one hundred eighty (180) days.
(16) Members of the division of state police.
(17) Executive secretary of the Blackstone Valley district commission.
(18) Artist and curator of state owned art objects.
(19) Mental health advocate.
(20) Child advocate.
(21) The position of aquaculture coordinator and dredge coordinator within the coastal
resources management council.
Unclassified pay plan board -- Composition. Unclassified pay plan board
– Transfer of functions. --
There is hereby created a permanent agency of government
to be known as the unclassified pay plan board. The board shall consist of
seven (7) members:
(1) Two of whom shall be from the house of representatives, to be appointed by
(2) Two of whom shall be from the senate, to be appointed by the president of
the senate; and
(3) Three of whom shall be:
(i) The director of administration, representing the executive branch of the
(ii) The state court administrator, representing the judicial branch of the
(iii) The general treasurer.
(b) The board shall organize each two (2) years at the call of the speaker of
the house of representatives
and shall elect a chairperson and such other officers as they deem necessary
their own membership.
Upon the effective date of this section, the unclassified pay plan board shall be abolished,
and all powers, duties and obligations of the board conferred thereon pursuant to the provisions of
this chapter shall be transferred to and administered by the department of administration. Any
reference to the unclassified pay plan board within the general laws shall now be construed to
refer to the department of administration.
Duties and responsibilities of the board. Duties and responsibilities of
department of administration. – (a)
It is the duty of the
board department of administration
maintain a pay plan for unclassified employees of the state, including
any rules and
that are necessary to implement and complement the plan.
maintaining the pay plan, it will be the duty of the
department of administration to allocate
all new unclassified positions to existing grades within the plan, and to review at least once
annually all existing unclassified positions and to reallocate those positions within the pay plan as
deem it deems proper ;.
provided, however, that no No new unclassified position shall be
or allocated or reallocated to any grade within the plan
unless the proposed
action has been
twice considered by the board at
two consecutive public meetings unless state agency and
department heads have been afforded the opportunity to make recommendations regarding the
and provided further,
however that any unclassified position that has been
vacant for more than twelve (12) months shall be canceled and removed from the unclassified pay
plan unless within that twelve (12) months the person having supervisory authority over the
requests an extension, in which case the
board department of
administration may approve
an extension of not more than twelve (12) months; and provided further, that employees,
appointing authorities, and the general public, shall be afforded an opportunity at a public hearing
to provide testimony, orally and in writing, regarding the changes, prior to the department's
submission of recommendations to the governor. The agenda for the public hearing shall include
a summary of the proposed changes. Hearings conducted pursuant to this section shall be subject
to the provisions of chapter 42-46 of the general laws.
(b) The department of administration, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, shall
only have the authority to make recommendations to the governor. The governor shall approve
and adopt the plan with such changes as he or she may deem necessary. Following approval by
the governor, all unclassified pay plan changes shall be included in the normal budget process in
the appropriate section of the personnel supplement.
(c) When the pay plan and regulations have been adopted they shall constitute the official
pay schedule for the positions in the unclassified service. Thereafter, no person in the unclassified
service shall be paid a salary that is greater than the maximum or less than the minimum rates
fixed by the approved pay plan and regulations or by amendments thereto, nor shall salary
adjustments for unclassified employees made by the department of administration during its
review exceed two (2) grades per year at the maximum of the grade; provided, however, that
unclassified employees shall be entitled to all monetary additives accorded other state employees,
including, but not limited to, longevity and incentive training awards.
Salaries of directors, judges, and workers' compensation judges Salaries
directors. -- (a) In the month of
January March of each year, the unclassified pay plan board
will meet shall
conduct a public hearing to determine salaries to be
paid to directors of all state executive departments for the following year, at which hearing all
persons shall have the opportunity to provide testimony, orally and in writing. In determining
members of the board department of administration
will take into consideration the
duties and responsibilities of the aforenamed officers, as well as such related factors as salaries
and judicial positions in other states and levels of
government, and in comparable
positions anywhere which require similar skills, experience, or training. Consideration shall also
be given to the amounts of salary adjustments made for other state employees during the period
that pay for directors was set last.
(b) Each salary determined by the
board department of administration
will be in a flat
amount, exclusive of such other monetary provisions as longevity, educational incentive awards,
or other fringe additives accorded other state employees under provisions of law, and for which
directors are eligible and entitled.
(c) In no event will the
board department of administration lower
the salaries of existing
directors during their term of office.
(d) Upon determination by the
board, department of administration,
the proposed salaries
directors will be referred to the general assembly by the last day in
April of that year
to go into effect thirty (30) days hence, unless rejected by formal action of the house and the
senate acting concurrently within that time.
SECTION 2. Sections 36-4-16.1 and 36-4-16.3 of the General Laws in Chapter 36-4
entitled "Merit System" are hereby repealed.
Meetings and staff. -- The board shall meet bimonthly at the
call of the chairperson
to act on any recommendations or referrals made to it by the state's personnel administrator
or by appointing authorities. The personnel administrator shall be responsible
staff and funds for whatever administrative assistance and expenses are deemed necessary
by the board.
Salaries of unclassified personnel. -- The personnel
administrator shall initially
submit to the board a proposed pay plan and regulations for all unclassified
employees of the
state and periodically thereafter submit such revisions as to update the plan
and its regulations.
State agency and department heads shall be allowed to make recommendations to
pay plan submitted and after reasonable opportunity has been given to
authorities, and the general public, and after incorporating any modification,
amendment it considers desirable, the board shall approve and adopt the plan
and regulations with
such changes as it deems necessary and order their application to the positions
in the unclassified
service. The unclassified pay plan board shall submit the plan and regulations
to the governor
who shall approve and adopt the plan with such changes as he or she deems
order their application to the position in the unclassified service. When the
pay plan and regulations
have been adopted they shall constitute the official pay schedule for the
positions in the
unclassified service. Thereafter, no person in the unclassified service shall
be paid a salary that
is greater than the maximum or less than the minimum rates fixed by the
approved pay plan and
regulations or by amendments thereto, nor shall salary adjustments for
made by the board during its review exceed two (2) grades per year at the
the grade; provided, however, that unclassified employees shall be entitled to
all monetary additives
accorded other state employees, including, but not limited to, longevity and
SECTION 3. Chapter 36-4 of the General Laws entitled "Merit System" is hereby
amended by adding thereto the following section:
36-4-16.5. Certain unclassified positions excluded. – Sections 36-4-16.2 and 36-4-16.4
of this chapter shall have no application to those positions enumerated in subsections 36-4-2(1),
36-4-2(2) and 36-4-2(3), and the department of administration shall have no jurisdiction over the
status, tenure or salaries of those said enumerated positions.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon passage.