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Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Randall Benton / The Sacramento Bee

Sate Sen. Leland Yee, D - San Francisco speaks to members of the press in his office at the Capitol in Sacramento on Feb. 14, 2013.

California state worker civics training bill returns

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 - 10:53 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 - 1:49 pm

It’s back.

A measure that would require the state to develop an online civics curriculum for state workers is on the Thursday agenda for the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill, authored by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would require that employees take the online course when they are hired, promoted or reclassified after July 1, 2015.

Yee, a candidate for California secretary of state, wrote the bill last year after learning that only a third of Americans can name the three branches of U.S. government.

An earlier version of the measure required private money pay half the costs of launching the program and mandated departments send proof of employee compliance to CalHR every year. It stalled in committee last year.

The new version puts the full cost of the program on private funding and requires departments keep their own certification records for three years for surrender to CalHR upon demand.

The curriculum must “facilitate a basic understanding of the responsibilities and operation of the three branches of government and the importance of civic engagement” and “include practical examples” that would be updated as needed.

Labor unions and the California Chamber of Commerce support Yee’s bill. Click here to see the results of a (highly unscientific) State Worker blog opinion poll on the earlier version of the measure.

Read more articles by Jon Ortiz

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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Note: The State Worker blog switched blog platforms in October 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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