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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Rules Panel OKs Temp Worker Bill

The Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday setting up regulations for and limits on how the government hires temporary employees, sending it on for a vote before the full Senate.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Usie Richards, would require notices of personnel action that state the beginning and ending date of employment, require an evaluation after six months that could lead to permanent employment, and limit the term of hire of a temporary employee to not more than a year.
"There has always been some type of expectation that an employee coming in for the first time to be a government employee could work for a year or two and then be on track to be permanent," Sen. Patrick Sprauve said in support of the bill."I’ve seen many employees, since I’ve been back in government, who are treated as temporary, when sometimes ‘temporary’ turns out to be five or six years," he said, arguing there should be predictable rules and regulations so employees have a clearer notion of what to expect and so the temporary designation is not used to hire people without benefits for years on end.
The committee also approved a bill that would require all supermarkets to give the Division of Licensing and Consumer Affairs a list of prices for a basket of staple foods once a month, including milk, bread, rice, flour, potatoes, cereal, juice, beans, vegetables and meats.
The senators discussed whether or not to have the prices submitted and posted online and whether the DLCA would be strained by the additional responsibility.
Sen. Nereida “Nellie” O’Reilly, who sponsored the bill with Richards, said a web posting would be nice, but with many residents not online there should be public posting of the prices.
"The intent is to have supermarkets post these at set locations in the store," she said. "And perhaps we could ask the public access channel to run the prices on TV when there is no Legislature in session."
Also forwarded to the full Senate was a bill directing the Office of Veterans Affairs to select a site for a future veterans’ cemetery and, with legislative approval, apply for local and federal funding for its purchase and upkeep.
All votes were unanimous. Voting yea for each were Sprauve, Sens. Carlton "Ital" Dowe, Neville James, Michael Thurland, Sammuel Sanes and Celestino White. Richards was absent. O’Reilly was present but is not a member of the Rules Committee so did not vote.

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