(a) For the purpose of facilitating either the recruitment of professional and technically trained persons to fill positions for which there is a shortage of qualified applicants or hiring to achieve goals developed pursuant to Section 19790, the department may authorize payment of all or a part of the travel expense of applicants who are called for interview and all or a part of the travel and moving expense of persons who change their place of residence to accept employment with the state. These payments shall be authorized only upon the certification of the appointing power and the department that the expenditure is necessary in order to recruit qualified persons needed by the state.
If, for reasons that do not meet the approval of the state department concerned, the employee or applicant for employment does not accept or continue the employment for a period of two years, he or she shall reimburse the state department for the moving and travel expenses for the full or proportionate amount.
For the purposes of this section, satisfactory reasons for not completing two years of employment shall be death, prolonged illness, disability, unacceptability of the applicant or employee to the state department, and similar eventualities beyond the control of the applicant or employee.
(b) If the provisions of this section are in conflict with the provisions of a memorandum of understanding reached pursuant to Section 3517.5, the memorandum of understanding shall be controlling without further legislative action, except that if the provisions of a memorandum of understanding require the expenditure of funds, the provisions shall not become effective unless approved by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act.