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Miss. could lift civil-service protection for most agencies

Legislators are debating whether to remove civil-service protection for most Mississippi state government employees for three years.

The proposal is in House Bill 974 , which passed the House on a split vote Thursday. Opponents held it for the possibility of another debate on another day.

Supporters say removing Personnel Board supervision from most state-service jobs would give directors the flexibility to reorganize agencies and save money in tight budget times.

Opponents say many state employees make less money than they could in the private sector, and civil-service protection makes government jobs attractive. Without the protection, the process of firing workers could be faster.

The bill would remove Personnel Board supervision from July 2017 through June 2020. Some employees, including Highway Patrol officers, would keep the civil-service protection.

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