S-4525.1  _______________________________________________


                    SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6410



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1998 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Parks (originally sponsored by Senators Rossi, Snyder, Swecker, T. Sheldon, Stevens, Morton and Hargrove)


Read first time 02/04/98.

Providing for a good-faith reorganization of the department of fish and wildlife.

    AN ACT Relating to redeployment of personnel in the department of fish and wildlife; creating new sections; and declaring an emergency.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that a good-faith reorganization of the department of fish and wildlife is necessary in order to meet the challenges facing fish and wildlife resources in the  coming century.  The imminent crisis involving threatened or endangered salmonid listings under the federal endangered species act requires immediate legislative action to authorize redeployment of human resources from noncritical administrative functions into useful field positions that are necessary to expedite species recovery efforts.  The legislature recognizes that the merger of the department of fisheries and the department of wildlife resulted in personnel inconsistencies and redundancies.  Authority to reorganize the department's work force is justified to assure that the work of the department is carried out effectively and efficiently and that the state's natural resources are maximally protected and competently managed.

    The department of fish and wildlife shall reorganize to become more efficient in the management and protection of the natural resources under its authority.  The reorganization is needed to achieve the immediate goals of efficiency and efficacy that the merger of the department of fisheries and the department of wildlife sought to accomplish.  As a vital component of the reorganization, redeployment of administrative personnel from central office positions to field office positions is needed.  Redeployment will provide a more direct link between an employee's job skills and the application of those skills to the improvement of the natural resource being managed.

    Redeployment shall serve to increase the field presence of the department without increasing full-time equivalent employees in the agency.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  The director of the department of fish and wildlife, in conjunction with the fish and wildlife commission, shall begin a good-faith reorganization to achieve the objective of this act on or before July 1, 1998.  The good-faith reorganization shall meet an immediate goal of providing more staff resources for protection and enhancement of threatened or endangered fish and wildlife species, and a long-term goal of improving the efficiency in management of all species under the authority of the department.

    The director shall confer with the governor's office and the department of personnel to reasonably assure that the needs of fish and wildlife resource management are met in a way that is compassionate and fair to the professional needs of the redeployed employees.

    The fish and wildlife commission shall report to the appropriate committees of the legislature on or before December 31, 1998, to describe the progress of the good-faith reorganization.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  The director of the department of fish and wildlife shall confer with the union organizations that represent employees of the department for the purpose of expediting the implementation of the good-faith reorganization and addressing issues that concern redeployed employees.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.


                            --- END ---