DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. John Hickenlooper says the way the state hires, fires and pays employees needs to be changed, and two of his predecessors agree.

On Wednesday Hickenlooper and former governors Bill Ritter, a Democrat, and Bill Owens, a Republican, gave their support to Amendment S. If voters pass it in November it would mean the first overhaul since the 1970s.

“This is something all Coloradans, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, can unite behind because it would allow governors and those we ask to lead this state to do a better and more efficient job of leading the state,” Owens said.

Amendment S would mean more state workers would be exempt from the personnel system. That would give the state more flexibility in hiring and expand the pool of potential candidates. It would also allow the state to give preference to veterans.