Government
2:34 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Government Worker Incentives Bill Getting Ironed Out

Credit Kentucky Senate courtesy Commonwealth of Kentucky

A bill that would create incentive programs for employees of the Legislative Research Commission who find ways to save money is working its way through the General Assembly. But an amendment to the bill changes the focus, and attempts to add criteria for hiring the LRC's next director.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has been hired by the state to vet candidates to replace longtime LRC director Bobby Sherman. Sherman retired last fall amid reports by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting that he was having an extramarital affair with a subordinate who had received substantial pay raises.  

Currently, lawmakers are considering a measure to offer LRC employees a portion of any savings they can generate in the agency. But Representative Tom Riner has amended the legislation to address the moral character and marital fidelity of the next director of the LRC, who has yet to be hired.

“That one I told him we couldn’t do, cause we can’t prove or disprove fidelity," said Riner. "We don’t have an investigation team to do that. His has been narrowed down to just deal with morality and ethics.”

Rep. Steve Riggs is the bill's original sponsor. Riggs says he agrees with the intent of Riner's amendment, but it can't be enforced as written.

“That one I told him we couldn’t do, cause we can’t prove or disprove fidelity," said Riggs. "We don’t have an investigation team to do that. His has been narrowed down to just deal with morality and ethics.”

He says he wants to find efficiencies raise morale, and Riner’s amendment would be difficult to enforce. 

Riggs says he’s working with Riner to limit the scope of his amendment. 

The amended bill now awaits a second reading on the House floor.