Employee incentives bill clears committee | NevadaAppeal.com

Employee incentives bill clears committee

Legislation that would give state workers cash incentives for ideas that save the state money is on its way to a final legislative floor vote.

Senate Bill 286 by Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, and Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, was given a “do pass” recommendation by the Assembly Government Affairs Committee, leaving just the Assembly final vote before it heads to the governor.

“It feels really good to help Sen. Rhoads get his bill,” said Smith, noting that Rhoads has tried the plan before without success.

“After 10 years,” said Rhoads, smiling. “It’s to provide government employees an incentive to save money and cut costs.”

The bill, which won unanimous approval in the Senate, would award 10 percent of the money an employee’s proposal or idea saves to the employee or group of employees. The amount a creative worker or group could receive would be capped at $25,000 for a given idea.

Half the money saved would go to the General Fund and the remaining 40 percent to the agency for use on one-time expenses or projects.

Rhoads said state workers, “all talk about we’ve got $32,000 left in the budget and we’ve got to spend it on something.”

“Instead of sharpening a pencil, they throw it away and grab another one,” he said. “There’s no incentive to save.”

Smith said the bill developed “broad support” this time. She said the governor’s office worked with them on the bill and “is very supportive of it.”

The bill could receive final Assembly approval before the end of the week.