(TRENTON) — Assemblymen Paul Moriarty and John Burzichelli Friday announced they’ve introduced legislation to give local governments more flexibility to control costs and property taxes by allowing counties and municipalities to withdraw from the civil service system.

“The civil service system certainly serves a purpose, but there’s no reason for local governments to be forced to use it if they would prefer a different approach to possibly save property taxpayers money,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Anything that can give local governments more freedom to take the steps they need to save money is the right thing to do.”

The bill (A-2580) provides that the governing body of a county or a municipality may leave the civil service system by ordinance, provided that an employee with permanent status in a title will retain career service rights as long as the employee remains in that title. If the governing body of a county or municipality rescinds civil service, it would take effect six months following the passage of the ordinance.

“Giving local officials this option to potentially save money just makes sense,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “The more flexibility the better.”

The New Jersey Civil Service Commission would promulgate regulations providing for the orderly transition in the personnel system of the county or municipality during that six-month period. If a governing body rejects an ordinance to rescind civil service, a new vote on an ordinance would not be held on the question for a period of at least five years following the rejection of rescission. A county or municipality that rescinds civil service would not be permitted to readopt for at least five years from the effective date and would be permitted to readopt civil service only once.

“This is simply an option to help local governments reform their approach and management, if they so chose, to save taxpayer money,” Moriarty said.

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