CO voters approve state personnel system overhaul

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DENVER (AP) — Colorado voters have approved an overhaul of how the state hires and fires employees.

Amendment S increases the number and type of employees who are exempt from the state personnel system.

It gives the state more flexibility in deciding who to hire, rather than simply relying on test results. It also phases out a little-used rule that protects senior employees from layoffs, and it creates a new merit pay system.

Existing rules were adopted in 1918 during the Progressive Era. They were last updated in 1970.

The changes were approved by state lawmakers with bipartisan support, but voters had the final say on Tuesday because the personnel rules are part of the state constitution.

The state's largest public employees union, Colorado WINS, was neutral on the proposal.

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