Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that removes the Santa Rosa County School District and the West Florida Regional Library from the county’s Civil Service Board.
HB 1135, which was sponsored by Rep. Jayer Williamson, makes several changes to the Civil Service Board, which was founded in 1979 to act as an appeal entity for county employees. Employees have the right to appeal if they face demotion, suspension, termination or other actions that economically harm them.
Williamson told the Pensacola News Journal that the two entities are being removed because they have internal processes serving a similar function, so their presence on the Board is redundant.
The bill also modifies how members of the Board are chosen to keep in line with the change. Previously, the Board consisted of five members: one elected by the classified employees of the County Commission, one elected by the classified employees of the school district, one appointed by the County Commission, one appointed by the School Board and one appointed by vote of the county’s constitutional officers (which includes officials like the Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Property Appraiser and Sheriff).
Now, there will continue to be five Board members — two elected by the “classified” employees of the County Commission, two by the county’s constitutional officers and one appointed by the County Commission.
The bill also makes several changes to definitions and bills impacting the Civil Service Board.
The Board will no longer have rule-making authority for a classified position pay plan and leave and holiday policies; the County Commission and county constitutional officers are required to file notice of demotions, suspensions and dismissals of employees with the County Commissioners’ human resources department; and certain terms in the original 1979 act were updated to use gender-neutral language.
The bill took effect when it was signed by DeSantis.