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Sweeney, O’Scanlon & Doherty Will Act to Allow Reassignment of Public Workers During Crises

Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Senator Michael Doherty issued the following joint statement today saying they will introduce legislation (S-2477) to allow for the temporary reassignment of state and local employees outside of their civil service classifications for up to 30 days during public emergencies:

“We recognize the impact the COVID crisis is having on the state’s ability to respond in a timely way to the emergent needs of the public and want to do what we can to improve the effectiveness of services, especially unemployment benefits. We will introduce legislation that will allow for the temporary transfer of state workers during public emergencies to where they are needed most. This will enable the strategic redeployment of human resources to respond to critical needs in times of crises.

“There is no doubt that one of the most vital needs is making sure that unemployment benefits are distributed as quickly as possible to the millions of people who have lost their jobs and their livelihoods to a health emergency that struck with little warning. We are now experiencing the most severe levels of unemployment since the Great Recession.

“We know that the public workers who are responsible for providing vital services are working tirelessly, but they need additional support. We have faith in the willingness and ability of other workers to come to their assistance. This legislation will allow them to do just that.

“Essential workers in the public and private sectors who continue to put themselves at risk in service to us all deserve our support and appreciation. Together, we will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.”