|BILL AS INTRODUCED||2007-2008|
Introduced by Representatives Weston of Burlington, Andrews of Rutland City, Barnard of Richmond, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Donovan of Burlington, Dostis of Waterbury, Evans of Essex, Lorber of Burlington, Mitchell of Barnard and Trombley of Grand Isle
Subject: Executive branch; green mountain government fellows program
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to create the green mountain government fellows program to attract to state government employment outstanding persons from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, public service; and to develop highly effective managers and innovative leaders throughout state government.
AN ACT RELATING TO THE CREATION OF THE GREEN MOUNTAIN GOVERNMENT FELLOWS PROGRAM
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 3 V.S.A. § 334 is added to read:
§ 334. GREEN MOUNTAIN GOVERNMENT FELLOWS PROGRAM
(a) There is created the green mountain government fellows program. The program shall be implemented and managed by a director who shall be exempt from classified service. The purposes of the program are to:
(1) attract to state government employment outstanding persons from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, public service; and
(2) develop highly effective managers and innovative leaders throughout state government.
(b) Individuals selected for the program shall be known as green mountain government fellows.
(c) As used in this section:
(1) “Agency” shall have the meaning set forth in subdivision 801(b)(1) of this title.
(2) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of human resources;
(3) “Department” means the department of human resources;
(4) “Director” means the director of the green mountain government fellows program;
(5) “Fellow” means a participant in the green mountain government fellows program;
(6) “Program” means the green mountain government fellows program.
(d) An individual shall be eligible to participate in the program if he or she:
(1) has, or will have, graduated from a bachelor’s or master’s program by the first Tuesday in September in any year;
(2) has completed his or her bachelor’s or master’s degree no more than three years prior to the starting date of the program; and
(3) has received a diploma from a Vermont high school or a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a Vermont college or university.
(e) The commissioner shall adopt procedures for application to the program. The director shall provide general information about the program to applicants, including providing a written application on the department’s website.
(f) Interviews and evaluations shall be conducted by a panel comprised of the following members:
(1) one member of the general assembly appointed by the joint rules committee;
(2) one member appointed by the governor;
(3) the commissioner of human resources or his or her designee;
(4) the director of the green mountain government fellows program;
(5) one faculty member of the University of Vermont elected by the board of trustees of the University of Vermont; and
(6) the commissioner of education or his or her designee.
(g) The director shall offer positions to applicants based upon the results of the interviews and evaluations. A decision to accept or decline an offer shall be submitted to the director in writing.
(h) The program shall commence on the first Tuesday in September of each year and shall begin with a weeklong orientation that includes introductions to the program, agency briefings as described, and the completion of essential paperwork. Following orientation, each fellow shall begin the first of six rotational assignments.
(i) By participating in a series of rotational assignments, each fellow shall be exposed to a variety of important public management issues. Fellows may be assigned to any executive branch state agency, or the general assembly while it is in session. Fellows shall be assigned work-related projects which further enhance their knowledge and understanding of Vermont state government. Fellows shall complete a total of six consecutive rotational assignments. Each assignment shall last approximately six weeks each in duration. Rotational assignments shall be as follows:
(1) Funding agency rotational assignment. The agency which funds a fellow position, as described in subsection (p) of this section, shall be the initial rotational assignment. This assignment shall fulfill one of the four core requirements of the program.
(2) Policy rotational assignment. The policy rotational assignment shall provide experience to fellows with the mechanisms and methods used to create and implement Vermont policies. Assignments shall include or involve policy research, creation, implementation, monitoring, and analysis.
(3) Budget rotational assignment. The budget rotational assignment shall instruct fellows on how Vermont state agencies prepare and execute budgets and on the law and process that govern budgetary processes.
(4) Public administration rotational assignment. The public administration rotational assignment shall foster the development of managerial, leadership, and innovation skills.
(5) Human resources rotational assignment. The human resources rotational assignment shall expose fellows to the law and process that govern human resource functions within state government, such as those involving labor relations and the classification, compensation, and training of state employees.
(6) Choice agency rotational assignment. The choice agency rotational assignment allows fellows to choose an assignment of their design and location in order to gain a better understanding of state agencies most relevant to their respective career interests.
(j) Management issue team projects shall provide fellows with experience in project management on topics involving more than one state agency. Team projects shall provide additional opportunities for fellows to strengthen management, writing, research, presentation, and team development skills.
(k) The commissioner shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the University of Vermont master of public administration program to provide training to fellows by coordinating training sessions with experienced Vermont managers, professors, experts, and consultants.
(l) The commissioner shall adopt procedures for placing fellows in state government service after completion of the program. The procedures shall provide for placement prior to completion of the program.
(m) Following the completion of all rotational assignments, each fellow shall begin a probationary period of 15 weeks, during which time the fellow shall remain classified as a green mountain government fellow. Upon successful completion of the probationary period, a fellow shall become a member of the classified system for state employees.
(n) Fellows who have completed a bachelor’s degree shall be compensated at the level of pay grade 20, step 1. Fellows who have completed a master’s degree shall be compensated at the level of pay grade 24, step 1. Following completion of the program, fellows shall be upgraded to step 2 within their respective pay grades.
(o) Fellows shall be entitled to all benefits of employment to which state employees are entitled under the terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement.
(p) The compensation and benefits of a fellow shall be paid by the state agency that funds the fellow position.
Sec. 2. APPROPRIATION
There is appropriated the amount of $50,000.00 from the general fund to cover the compensation and benefits of the director of the green mountain government fellows program and the administrative expenses of the program.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street