The Massachusetts Civil Service Law: Is it Necessary to Destroy the Current System in Order to Save it?
In 1884, Massachusetts became the second state to pass civil service legislation, which intended to end patronage in government hiring. Governor Dexter Robinson signed the Massachusetts Civil Service Act of 1884, “which the Boston Transcript called ‘probably the most important act which has passed the legislature for years.’” 2 Over a century after the civil service law was passed, however, Massachusetts trails other states in public sector personnel administration. Massachusetts’s reluctance to revise its civil service law has had significant adverse effects. . . .