Civil Service Commission backs 3 proposed bills


The Civil Service Commission held a special meeting last Dec. 7 to review three bills recently proposed by the Legislature, with commission chair Herman R. Deleon Guerrero saying the commission “feels strongly” it should be involved in the review of all bills that will affect government employees.

The three bills were Senate bills 20-52 and 20-64 and House Bill 20-143.

S.B. 20-52 seeks to improve medical referral services by making all of the medical referral’s and liaison offices’ employment positions civil service positions and subject to the Civil Service Act.

S.B. 20-64 proposes a state directory of new hires.

H.B. 20-143 seeks to amend the public employment definition of the term “immediate family member.”

Deleon Guerrero said that Rep. Ivan Blanco (R-Saipan) asked for the commission’s comments on these bills.

“The commission, after review and discussion, supports all three bills, with some recommended amendments,” said commission vice chair Felicitas “Tee” Abraham. “Each of the three bills provides an action that benefits the [commission] and its employees.

“Senate Bill 20-52 will return employees of the Medical Referral and Hawaii and Guam Liaison Offices to the Civil Service System to increase stability and performance.

“Senate Bill 20-64 will establish a listing of employees that will allow a new Child Support Enforcement Office better information to ensure that parents live up to their responsibilities to their children.

“House Bill 20-143 redefines the term ‘immediate family member’ to include common-law spouses to allow the use of earned sick leave to care for a sick common-law spouse.

“All three laws benefit government employees and should be enacted,” said Abraham.

“It’s challenging and sometimes difficult but an important aspect of the commission’s reason for being,” commissioner Charles Calvo (Saipan) said. “It’s important to look at each new bill to see what effect it will have on government employees.”

“Our responsibility as appointed members of the Civil Service Commission is to work together for the best interests of the civil service employees and to make sure that all employee-related laws and policies are fair, meaningful, and consistent to the principles of a Civil Service merit system,” said commissioner Catalina Tebit (Saipan).

Other members of the commission are Arsene M. Borja (Tinian), and Valerie Q. Apatang (Rota).

One commissioner position for Saipan remains to be appointed by the governor. (PR)

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