HB 666/LM (BR 2239) - R. Weston, L. Clark, De. Butler, D. Horlander, J. Jenkins, M. Marzian, C. Miller, D. Owens, J. Wayne
AN ACT relating to fire department merit boards in a consolidated local government.
Create new sections of KRS 67C, relating to the creation of fire department merit boards in consolidated local governments (CLG); establish definitions; require CLG to establish fire department merit system and board as prescribed; exclude the chief and assistant chief from oversight of board; require CLG legislative council to annually appropriate funds for the board; provide for the appointment of a five-member merit board; establish criteria for qualification of members; establish staggered four-year terms for members as provided; require vacancies to be filled for unexpired terms only; permit removal of members for cause as prescribed; prohibit members from serving in other public offices while serving; prohibit receipt of gifts, money, or things of value as prescribed; prohibit having more than three members from the same political party; require oath and provide for the election of fire department representatives to the board; require the board to meet within 30 days of creation and to adopt operating procedures and by-laws; require only a majority of the quorum who are present to take action in nondisciplinary actions; require four members to be present to take action on disciplinary matters, one of for which shall be a fire member; require the board to meet at least once every two months and for minutes of each meeting to be kept; require the board to employ a secretary as prescribed; require all orders and minutes to be signed by the chairman as prescribed; require all meetings records, and minutes to be subject to the Kentucky Open Meetings and Records Law; require the mayor to certify within 30 days prescribed fire department personnel information as of the date of the ordinance creating the board; "grandfather" in all active duty fire department members, except probationary employees, as "fit and qualified" to continue service without further exams or qualifications; require such members to be deemed permanent employees as prescribed; require probationary members to complete one-year probationary period which can be extended for an additional six months as prescribed; provide for coverage of members affected by promotional probationary periods as prescribed; exclude chiefs, assistant chiefs, and others previously excluded from the civil service system from the oversight of the board; require these persons to be appointed by the mayor; provide for a leave of absence from classified service for a member to accept a noncovered promotional position and provide for the return of such employee to the same classified service as prescribed; prohibit members from receiving or soliciting for any political party or candidate for public office; prohibit any member from using personal influence or authority to secure appointments or promotions; prohibit employees from signing or promise to sign dated resignations in advance of an appointment or promotion; prohibit action against an employee for nonpayment to political purpose; prohibit exam questions relating to opinions, beliefs, affiliations, or services; prohibit members from being involved or promoting political or religious controversies or prejudices while in uniform; establish the nonabridgment of rights protections of all members as prescribed; require the board to create rules and regulations for all covered personnel as prescribed; require rules to be published, distributed, and posted as provided within three days of adoption; require the employment of a chief examiner with duties as prescribed; require chief to provide medical records of disability of applicants for promotions if necessitated; require 90 day prior notice of promotional exams; provide for the grading of promotional tests to include preference points for seniority as prescribed; provide for the availability and review of promotional eligibility lists the compilation of test results and notification of applicants; provide for review or discussion of scores of an applicant by appointment as prescribed and for the filling of promotional vacancies from the five candidates with the highest score from the eligibility list; require the board to provide for justification of nonpromotions after four unsuccessful attempts or to give promotions; require certified promotion lists to remain valid for two years and promotional vacancies to be filled within 60 days of the vacancy; require the action of the chief to be valid except in all cases of dismissal, demotion, or suspension of more than 40 hours of a nonprobational employees, which shall be reviewed and heard by the board as prescribed; outline procedures for the board review and permit the board to set aside the action of the chief but prohibit issuing a penalty or punishment in excess of original action; permit suspensions of less than 40 hours for a nonprobationary employee to be reviewed by the board or a hearing officer; require all board rules to apply in either case; require report, recommendations, and notice of findings from hearing officer as prescribed; permit exceptions to the hearing recommendations within 15 days; require all final orders of the board to be in writing and within 30 days of receipt of the hearing officer's recommended order; permit any action of the board to be appealed to the Circuit Court within 30 days of the action as prescribed; require procedural due process for all members as prescribed and grant the board the power to issue subpoenas; require the use if the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure; require the existing promotional eligibility lists to remain in effect until their normal expiration date.
Feb 23-introduced in House
Feb 24-to Local Government (H)
Mar 3-posted in committee
Mar 7-reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar
Mar 8-2nd reading, to Rules; posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Thursday, March 9, 2006
Mar 9-3rd reading, passed 96-0
Mar 10-received in Senate
Mar 14-to State and Local Government (S)