Mass. Leaders Agree To Probation Commission

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Massachusetts State House in Boston (credit: AP)

Massachusetts State House in Boston (credit: AP)

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BOSTON (AP) — The state’s top political leaders are forming a commission to develop legislation that will overhaul the troubled Massachusetts Probation Department.

Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo also said Monday they agree the department’s hiring should be moved under the Civil Service system to reduce chances for political interference.

Under such a system, jobs would generally be awarded to one of the top three finalists in a test. A recent Boston Globe series and independent report suggested lawmakers were influencing hiring by trading a bigger departmental budget for jobs.

Patrick says the overhaul bill will be introduced next month, and Murray says it will be passed before the end of June, if not sooner.

She also says the Legislature will not give the troubled department any more money until it’s fixed.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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