A bill filed by Reps. William Callegari and Erwin Cain aims to increase government efficiency by emphasizing government employee performance over longevity.

The words “government” and “efficiency” don’t often find themselves in the same sentence, except as a punch-line.  HB 3168, however, focuses on exactly that: increasing the efficiency of state government by looking at the incentives driving public-sector employees.

Since salaries and related personnel costs make up the bulk of government spending, Mr. Callegari and Mr. Cain are seeking to replace the state’s inefficient longevity pay system with a merit-based bonus policy.

Currently, the longevity pay system rewards employees for doing nothing more than being just that – employees of the great State of Texas.  In no discernible way does the current policy reinforce productivity or efficiency in the provision of state services.  In fact it could be argued that it actually promotes stagnation and mediocrity.

By reforming the current longevity-based bonus system with a merit-based policy that incentivizes performance, the state stands to gain in both efficiency and productivity.

Texas taxpayers cannot afford to simply reward existence, we need state employee policies to inspire excellence.

Andrew Kerr is the Executive Director of Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility

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