TRENTON - The state Civil Service commission approved new rules that officials say will streamline promotions and save the state money.

The changes, which were criticized by state legislators, would group some jobs together as part of "bands," making it easier to shift workers from one position to another without the need for civil service tests, according to a report on NJ.com.

Under the previous system, public employees received jobs and moved up based on examinations.

Critics argued that the changes will lead to cronyism as well as discrimination against women and minorities, while also making it harder for military veterans to obtain jobs and promotions.

Because the proposal aimed to change rules and not laws, it needed only to be approved by the Civil Service Commission and not the state Legislature.

Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for Christie's office, told NJ.com that, despite the critics' charges, the new rules do not violate the state constitution.

"That is a totally uninformed criticism of what this proposal is," he said, according to the report.

Steve Hughes

Local news editor at the Press of Atlantic City. SUNY Geneseo and Syracuse University grad. New Jersey transplant.