Archive for Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kansas House votes to cut pay 5 percent for elected and appointed officials

February 10, 2010, 12:58 p.m. Updated February 10, 2010, 5:28 p.m.


— The Kansas House on Wednesday voted to cut the pay of elected and appointed state officials by 5 percent.

“This amendment sends the message that we are serious” about cutting spending, said Rep. Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, who introduced the proposal.

The measure was added to a budget bill that attempts to close the books on the current fiscal year and ratifies many of Gov. Mark Parkinson’s earlier announced budget cuts. Much bigger budget battles lie ahead.

Since the fiscal year ends June 30, the pay cut annualized amounts to about 1.7 percent, and will save about $1.5 million. It would apply to legislators, judges, appointed state employees and other state officers, including the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, insurance commissioner and cabinet secretaries.

When the bill came to the House floor, it contained an 11-percent cut to the Legislature, but that was reduced and expanded to more people under Neufeld’s proposal.

Another amendment shifts funds around to help pay for a program for Kansans with disabilities and draws down federal dollars.

Final House action is expected Thursday on the bill, which would trim more than $92 million in state spending. Differences with a Senate version would have to be reconciled before the legislation could be sent to the governor.

Lawmakers still face a projected $400 million deficit in the next fiscal year, on top of making about $1 billion in cuts last year.

“This is a good first step,” House Appropriations Chairman Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, said Wednesday, but added, “We have miles to go before we sleep.”

He said more budget cuts will be needed. Parkinson has called for a tax increase to bridge the revenue shortfall, saying state government has already sustained damaging budget cuts.

Speaking to advocates for elderly on Wednesday, Parkinson said without more revenue “tens of thousands of Kansans will be dramatically hurt.”


Steve Jacob 8 years, 2 months ago

No comments yet? Anyway sounds good. But an example is why should the best and brightest go into politics for such small pay. Heck, what kind of raise is Thornburg get leaving early?

1southernjayhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Nicely done; I approve. More cuts of this nature are needed and tell your buddies in the federal govt.

frank mcguinness 8 years, 2 months ago

SRJ, Public service is like millitary service. You do it in part for your country!

Sure Ron Thornburough will make more in the private sector but thats ok. With all the really dumb moves our state government is making they can't really complain about a 5% loss of income.

BigDog 8 years, 2 months ago

As I read on another site ..... 5% pay cute is a bit deceptive.

The cut is 5% but only through the end of the state's current fiscal year which only has like 4 months left. So actual pay cut is like 1.5 - 2%.

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 2 months ago

Of course to accomplish this the legislature rolled back a proposed 11% cut in pay for themselves.

Realistically, they could have maintained the 11% cut and pay and cut the pay for the other positions by 5%.

Instead, what they really did was cut their proposed pay decrease in half.

cowboy 8 years, 2 months ago

Put the state gov't on a four day work week till further notice. Across the board 20% savings in payroll cost.

Cut big Lew's salary in half and tax his incentive payments. Is 800k really necessary for the KU AD ?

Alexander Neighbors 8 years, 2 months ago

5% ? Is that it ? 5% percent ? do a 20% reduction and there will be no budget shortage....

texburgh 8 years, 2 months ago

This is a BS pandering vote. Watch for it on their campaign literature.

They voted today to cut their pay by 5% but the Senate did not in the same bill. That means when the conference committee comes, the House will quickly cave to the Senate position of no cut to legislative pay. House members will pound their chests and rave on about how they wanted to cut legislative pay but the big bad Senate did not.

It's all crap from a bunch of manipulative liars. You watch, the final bill will have no pay cut. A few neo-fascist right wingers will talk about how they wanted to cut it but could not prevail all the while wiping their brows because they escaped unharmed. Look for later furloughs of state employees - not the people were talking about in today's vote but the real people. The ones who clear snow off our highways and keep us safe from criminals. They are the only folks getting a Republican pay cut.

kansasmutt 8 years, 2 months ago

This is only a deferral of a raise this year. Most of us business owners and workers have taken a 10 to 15% cut this year and last year as well. I would like to see them take a hit like us common folk have. We also have seen most tax rates rise and food prices go up as well. Insurance is jumping 25% a year and we just keep paying it .It’s obvious our leaders could care less about us everyday folks. We are falling by the wayside , while they reap the rewards of high taxes and wasteful spending and all for a 1.5% pay cut, chump change.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Cowboy Cowboy No one is so blind as the man that will not see. I'm not going to explain it again. Get a clue.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Cowboy I forgot to mention that your Lew Perkins comment is really stupid, and off point.

cowboy 8 years, 2 months ago

top , most of us small business folks have seen drops of 25-40% or more in our businesses , we get by , cut costs , don't buy anything. Yes cuts are hard but this is also the worst economy I have seen in my 50+ years. A pay cut is better than no job at all. and Lew's state paid salary is relevant. He should either get the same cuts as other state employees or put him completely on donated funds if he doesn't want to be treated fairly like other state employees.

billbodiggens 8 years, 2 months ago

Big Dog stated: "As I read on another site ….. 5% pay cute is a bit deceptive." You bet it is. It is only for three months and amounts to less that 2%. On top of that the legislators gave themselves a 6% raise last year when no one else was given a dime. And, the legislators' legislative salary remain exempt from Federal taxation. Here's another ding on the legislators. They will make between 8 and 9 thou in salary this year during the regular session. When they retire, they annualize their salary for purposes of calculating their retirement payments. In other words, if they made 10,000 for three months of their session, when it comes to retirement caculations, that 10,000 for three months suddendly turns into 40,000 per year and they still only worked 3 months. Nice job it you can get it. So unless they want to furlough the entire legislature for a month, don't bother pulling off such a transparent stunt.

Gary Denning 8 years, 2 months ago

We try to elect bright, competent folks to the legislature, then we complain that they want to make $10,000 for three months? How many of them suffer much greater losses in income by being away from their jobs? Most, I would guess.

I do agree that the KPERS benefits should not be annualized for a partial year of work.

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