To the editor:
The Republican Party has controlled the Legislature in Kansas for decades.
It has allowed them to create unclassified politically partisan positions within the Legislature that pay more than most average citizens make per year. Now we learn that they get bonuses based on whatever criteria a legislative leader determines is suitable. Apparently, even though the Legislature isn’t in session year around, these folks draw a paycheck that ranges from $65,000 to $90,000 a year plus bonuses.
Do we have a full time quasi-legislature in the form of these legislative assistants? Are these the folks who are doing the work that our legislators are suppose to do? It makes one wonder who holds the real power in the Legislature.
It seems ludicrous to justify these salaries and bonuses on the basis of overtime and the temporary nature of the employment. These folks knew the nature of these jobs when they were hired. If they are performing these jobs only for the money, that is a sad state of affairs.
It sickens me to think of the cuts that have been made to education and social services in order to balance a budget that is bloated with excessive legislative administrative costs. It angers me to think that our legislators would even consider a pay cut for classified state employees who do the real work when they are doling out bonuses and exorbitant pay to their own political staff.
Why should we be surprised that we have budget shortfalls?