State Rep. Steve Riggs said he is pleased that his effort to save taxpayer dollars and improve workplace efficiency in the legislative branch is now up and running.
“I sponsored this law because a similar program in the executive branch has been so successful over the years, saving millions of dollars along the way,” said Riggs, of Louisville. “We were long overdue for something like this in the Legislative Research Commission (LRC). Now that it’s ready, I’m confident our employees, like their counterparts in other state agencies, will be able to find ways to do more with less and be rewarded for it. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
LRC announced its Employee Suggestion System on Monday. It establishes a staff panel to review suggestions employees make, and recommendations clearing that hurdle will then be reviewed by LRC’s director.
Under the law, which the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved last year, an employee who submits a successful recommendation will be eligible for a cash bonus worth up to 10 percent of the amount saved, with a cap set at $2,500.
The executive branch’s Kentucky Employee Suggestion System was first created in 1981, and since 1996, it has generated a combined $47 million in first-year savings, according to the Personnel Cabinet. The most recent suggestions to be implemented are expected to save almost $350,000 in their first year.
One suggestion involved removing telephone land lines from Department of Criminal Justice Training dorm rooms, since cell phones are now so prominent. Eliminating 125 landlines, while maintaining two per floor, saved $21,000.
Another recommendation implemented at the state’s highway weigh stations enabled the state to recoup more than $162,000 in license fees.
“While the legislative branch is much smaller than the executive, there are undoubtedly areas where improvements can be made,” Riggs said. “I’m confident this program will boost morale and, along the way, encourage more LRC employees to find cost-saving solutions. I’m really looking forward to seeing how much our employees can do.”