Members of the Vermont Media:
In response to reports of Governor Shumlin’s Administration trying to transfer exempt appointees into full-time classified positions, Lt. Governor Scott, Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) and Rep. Don Turner (R-Milton) wrote the following letter (pasted below) to Vermont Department of Human Resources Commissioner Maribeth Spellman requesting an immediate halt to any such action. A signed PDF copy of the letter from Republican Leadership is available upon request.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
May 23, 2016
Vermont Department of Human Resources
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620
Dear Commissioner Spellman:
We are hearing concerning reports that State agencies and departments are considering transferring exempt appointees by Governor Shumlin into full-time classified positions. We gather the motivation for doing so would be to protect current exempt appointees from being replaced when the next Governor takes office.
We write to share our concerns that an attempt to re-classify positions in order convert the current Governor’s employees into full-time, classified positions is outside the scope of good government. The next Administration—whether Democrat or Republican—should make these decisions in cooperation with the new Legislature.
Furthermore, the Office of Legislative Council has informed us that a State agency or department does not have the legal authority to unilaterally convert an exempt appointee into a classified position. Legislative Council is not aware of any statute authorizing the Executive Branch to convert an exempt position into a classified position without action on the part of the Legislature.
Accordingly, we request that the reclassification of exempt positions into classified positions, as well as the creation of new classified positions, be halted until the next Administration takes them up in consultation with the new Legislature.
Lt. Governor Phil Scott, Sen. Joe Benning, and Rep. Don Turner
CC: Commissioner Annie Noonan, Secretary of Administration Justin Johnson
Chief of Staff, Lt. Governor Phil Scott
(802) 828-2226 (office)
(802) 272-2256 (cell)
The State House | 115 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05633
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