The State Worker

California state worker civics training bill returns

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.

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