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Archive for Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Statehouse Live: Kansas House budget committee approves proposal to cut state employees’ pay by 7.5 percent

School funding would also be cut

Kansas Rep. Pete DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, who pushed for the 7.5 percent reduction in salaries and wages for state employees, said the cut is necessary to help balance the budget. The proposal goes next to the full House.

January 25, 2011, 8:13 a.m. Updated January 25, 2011, 5:59 p.m.

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— The House budget-writing committee on Tuesday approved a budget that would cut state employee pay 7.5 percent as well as base state aid to public schools.

The measure was passed by the Appropriations Committee on a partisan vote with only Republicans supporting it. House Bill 2014 will next go to the full House for debate, but it was not clear when that would happen.

Rep. Pete DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, authored the 7.5 percent pay cut, saying it was needed to help bridge an estimated $550 million revenue shortfall. “I realize it’s difficult, but it’s necessary,” DeGraaf said.

He acknowledged it would be tough for state workers, but said that during the recession many employees in the private sector have taken pay cuts or lost their jobs.

Jane Carter, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, called the proposal “disgraceful.”

“The services and the jobs that they (state employees) do are not respected by the Legislature or by the governor,” she said.

The measure would cut all state agencies’ salaries and wages by 7.5 percent. It would allow agencies flexibility to make those cuts, DeGraaf said. For example, he said agencies could furlough employees. He said not all state employees would receive a pay cut because some agencies may be able to achieve the savings through other means.

At Regents universities, money from the pay cuts could be redirected to fixing a backlog of repairs and maintenance of campus buildings. DeGraaf said it was necessary to keep higher education funding at a level that would satisfy federal requirements to get stimulus funds.

The pay proposal would also cut the salaries for “state officers” by 7.5 percent. This includes judges, justices, statewide elected officials, agency heads and legislators, DeGraaf said.

The reductions would occur during the last six pay periods of the current fiscal year.

The issue of pay levels for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, will have to be debated later in the current legislative session, he said.

The proposed budget includes nearly all of the budget cuts recommended by Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and added a few more put in by Republicans on the committee. The bill covers the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“The state is bleeding and we have to start making some tough cuts,” said state Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora.

Brownback’s budget recommendation would cut school funding in the current school year by reducing base state aid per student from $4,012 to $3,937, or $75 per pupil.

It would also fall $16.7 million short of federal requirements for special education funding. Educators said that could mean the loss of an additional $70 million in federal funds. Brownback’s policy director, Landon Fulmer, said it wasn’t certain whether there would be a penalty, although he said Kansas has already been penalized $2 million by the federal government for falling short on special education funding.

In addition to the proposed pay cut, the proposed budget also ends a pay program that was designed to boost the pay of some state employees who earned far less than their private sector counterparts.

Comments

Scott Morgan 3 years, 2 months ago

Alceste, nice package but why so much more than private business? This is why we are broke.

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Alceste 3 years, 2 months ago

dasquid:

Valid points you make. However, state workers get everything they deserve because they have refused to organize and have no Union. In those states where Union's matter, Public Employee's FORCE options. As an example, one state allows for "early retirement" after 20 years....pension is reduced but health insurance (GOOD COVERAGE) is total. Full retirement after 30 years of service. Get vested after ten years. If U quit after, say, 12 years, you DO get a pension at age 65 and your Medicare Part B premiums are paid; U get the Pension Plan as your Medigap policy (as good as or better than Plan F) and U get Rx coverage. ONLY because a Union made certain and continues to make certain U get what U signed up for.

Yes, it's a nice package and yes, there has been reductions in benefits for new hires.....but no horses were changed in the middle of the stream for those already playing ball. Why? UNION.

Kansas public employees get what they deserve due to their refusal to organize. Period.

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dasquid 3 years, 2 months ago

Bad idea for all the above plus the fact it will DISCOURAGE state employees eligible for retirement from retiring this year, especially those who qualify for leave pay (it will water down their "highest quarters" in 2011 and reduce their KPERS--assuming KPERS gets funded but that's a whole 'nother matter).

Instead, the state should give an INCENTIVE to employees who've been around way too long ONLY because they can't afford to pay for their HEALTH INSURANCE at full rate. Most retirees MUST stay in the State plan until Medicare--they don't have much choice if they want decent insurance. But you have to pay the full $500 a month NOT the $30 or less those still working pay. Who can afford that on KPERS?

IF the state would help retirees with health insurance ONLY until they reach 65, AND shore up KPERS with increased employee contributions instead of pay cuts, you'd see a LOT of older workers leaving. Some of those jobs can be left open for now or eliminated. Others will open up jobs for YOUNGER workers making a lot LESS (they have not had step increases in past years and they don't get longevity pay). There is your SAVINGS not to mention those younger workers badly NEED the job!

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irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

legalize pot and tax it, problem solved with no pay cuts and less money spent on law enforcement, courts and prisons and jails.

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grandnanny 3 years, 2 months ago

Let's consider the rationale of cutting salaries by 7.5%. The State collects less income tax and less sales tax. How does that help the budget shortfall? And while we're at it, let's privatize the people who do snow removal - if I don't pay, they don't plow my street. But my neighbor pays, so they plow the street for him. I get the benefit but I don't have to pay.

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Alceste 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh heck...it's only for 11 pay periods. Big deal.

Mandatory furloughs are what is needed for ALL state workers with NO exemptions. Other states' have found this furlough system works. 2 or 3 work days per month. At least.

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TopJayhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

We have what? Over a hundred counties in Ks. But well over three hundred school districts............HUH? I think in this day and age with rapid transit, and mass communictations. I think ONE schoold district for the whole State makes sense. You would save millions just in the hundreds of Superintendants that would be cut.

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sputum 3 years, 2 months ago

Make all State employees take a drug test and fire the ones who don't pass. That will more than balance the budget AND create job openings. I applied for a State job once, got offered the job, and turned it down. They called me wondering why and went so far as to tell me I could use my sick days if my DOG was sick.

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lawslady 3 years, 2 months ago

Here are just a few examples of what I am talking about above (bills the lawmakers have had printed up and passed out - to the tune of $5000 per pop, minimum), so far this session:

SB 58 and HB 2003 – renaming a state highway to honor someone SCR 1601 – Rescinding a 1978 resolution that asked the federal Congress to amend the US Constitution SR 1802 and 1803 – Assigning senate seats to committees for 2011 HB 2037 – creating more house committees HB 2063 - state fossil designation (thank you Representative Tom Sloan)

If they hadn’t had these mere 7 bills worked up, printed and distributed, they’d have already saved us a minimum of $35,000!! Bet you can find a lot more bills that you and most rational people will think they could skip doing this year - Check out all of what is going on this year at the Kansas state house http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/year1/measures/ Let them know about how you feel about them trying to make everyone else cut back on "extras" while they continue to do things like this.

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angel4dennis 3 years, 2 months ago

I think this is bogus. I am not a state employee but I have family that are. I am a para in a school that teaches children. I work NO more than 31 hours a week, I do not get paid during breaks or snow days, and my insurance costs about half of my monthly (yes monthly) check. How do they expect good quality people to continue to do their jobs if they are worried about trying to make ends meet? Why is it that my mother, who is a KDOT employee, who will not be able to retire for another 3 years, yet has worked for the state for over 30 years, driving a hundred miles a day to and from work, NOW has to worry if she will lose more income? Gas prices are going up, the cost of living ANYWHERE in the United States is going up, everything is increasing. This is why there are more crimes, more homeless families, and more people going hungry in the land of the free and the home of the brave. COME on government! Take a look at how other countries are working out their debts. Why in Sweden, there is no health care expense. KANSAS cannot afford to continue to cut the special education budget, nor to cut the general education budget. These public schools cannot be run like college campuses. Going to college is a privilege, getting a good public education is a right! Stop taking our rights away and filling your pockets. I don't care that this Governor may also give himself a pay decrease. I want to see all of them live on the $10,000 a year that I live on without SRS assistance. When they can do that, I am all for change. Until then, leave education alone and pick on someone your own size.

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Tammy Copp-Barta 3 years, 2 months ago

These may have been addressed above, but there are LOTS of comments to rifle through.

  1. Why is it that the state employees have to carry this on their backs to fix the financial woes of the state? EVERYONE in Kansas should have to be contributing in some way. This seems to always be the first and only option legislatures even look at -- come on .. you're getting paid well up there and are supposed to be smart .. be creative and think outside the box!

  2. By cutting the amount of money state employees make, means there is less to spend to boost the economy - so how is that going to help?

  3. By cutting their pay, means they make less therefore will pay less taxes to the state come April .. how will that help?

  4. When you cut 7.5% off of someone making $250,000 that's a whole lot different than someone making $25,000 and barely feeding their families as it is.

  5. How will the judicial system work if you furlough them? It already takes forever to get court dates. With cuts like these and the jobs that people have already lost over the last couple of years, people have and are taking desperate measures and doing stupid things to make ends meet.

  6. I understand the legislatures are taking cuts per this proposal. Why don't we add the perks that they get to that package - I can only imagine what that amount of money would be! And really, why DO we need a Governor's mansion??? Why can't they live in a ranch style house down the street from the Capitol??? Will the first family of Kansas be making changes to the residence to fit their taste?

Just some thoughts ....

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lawslady 3 years, 2 months ago

Look up HB 2063. Proposes we get a state fossil. Cost to print up all the copies of this 1 page bill and distribute it = approximately $5,000. Per one page bill. It's more if the bill is bigger. And it's a lot more every time they amend a word of any bill. Multiply that waste by all the non-necessary other bills this year (and every year) - like the ones to rename highways in honor of someone. Think how much $ could be saved by only distributing copies of bills on-line. If the Legislature wants to save a ton of money, they will cut that stuff out. Big hypocrites.

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solsken66 3 years, 2 months ago

Thankfully, we have not had to experience the depression like our great-grandparents or grandparents did here in Kansas. I have read accounts of how hard it was for my grandmother as a young girl growing up in western Kansas. There were many times she went to school without food due to hard times. Her father died at a young age. Her two brothers sent money home while on those work programs and during WWII to help out their mother and siblings. Do people know how fortunate they are today compared to those who came before us?

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 2 months ago

Retire to Palm Beach and get a condo for $40,000. Life is good. Even Docking was good at balancing the budget for Kansas and no one complained and a Democrat at that.

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Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 2 months ago

This must be what they mean by Republicans taking control...

Remember come next elections.

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guesswho 3 years, 2 months ago

Let's consolidate counties in western and southwestern Kansas 9courthouses, etc). Then we'll see how much people rally for reduced government.

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solsken66 3 years, 2 months ago

There is a union for state employees to join if they so desire.

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HollisBrown 3 years, 2 months ago

I'll say it again, if you don't have a union, you're screwed.

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solsken66 3 years, 2 months ago

State government has very nice benefits which many in the private sector don't. That is also something that must be included, not just the hourly wages. Many forget about the actual total cost that companies pay out for each employee. Government employment has usually been pretty secure compared to the private sector. The DOB will have to go back and access every agency to make additional cuts because the agencies more than likely will not implement cuts.

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Betty Bartholomew 3 years, 2 months ago

Here's what I want to know -

The last line of the current iteration of the article says, "In addition to the proposed pay cut, the proposed budget also ends a pay program that was designed to boost the pay of some state employees who earned far less than their private sector counterparts."

I can't remember what pay I started out at and how much of what I'm currently making was the single merit raise I earned, the promotion I got, and the equalization pay, but let's say my equalization was 80-cents. Will I lose the 80-cents and then another 7.5%? The 80-cents would be a 5.75% loss on my pay in and of itself. My math - taking off the equalization, then another 7.5% off of what's left - comes out to a nearly 13% reduction in pay. Good grief. I'm only making $28k per year as it is.

What a bunch of hogwash.

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jhawkinsf 3 years, 2 months ago

In these times, everyone has to make sacrifices. If not the 7.5% cut, then what? Less health care? Delayed retirement? Less sick days or vacation days? Less Holidays? I don't know.

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thedudette 3 years, 2 months ago

Meanwhile, K-state has a FABULOUS new marketing campaign that will cost millions and has ideas about adding all sorts of new things to do to bring MORE students to campus. State workers, bend over.

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thedudette 3 years, 2 months ago

The saddest part of this whole thing is that those of us who know better are just going to quit and move and get better paying jobs in a different state faster than we had originally thought since we were already looking due to the ridiculous work/pay ratio here in Kansas as a state employee.

The rest of them, well lets face it, they are going to stay and bitch about who they voted for because they don't know any better. Why oh why does Kansas constantly vote against themselves. Get over it. You are NEVER going to be a millionaire! Get over it!

There are the well paid state employees and there are very badly paid state employees who are asked to do an amazing amount of work. Probably about 30% more than you would work at an equal job in the private sector and for less money. Trust me I know what i"m talking about. Maybe it would have made more sense for Brownback to ask for a 20% pay cut for everyone who makes over $100k? I mean call me crazy, right?

Kansas, as usual, you get what you ask for, and then you are pissed about it. Yet year after year you do it again and vote against yourself. Will you ever learn? I hope you do for your own sake! Get with it.

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maudeandcecil 3 years, 2 months ago

Tell your friends and family in other parts of Kansas to contact their State Representatives and ask them to support less or no tax exemptions for special interest groups. Douglas County representatives already do.

Revenue Enhancement Suggestions From Former Kansas Secretary of Revenue Joan Wagnon:
1. Enact a moratorium for 3 years on all credits and tax exemptions. 2. Institute a Sunset Review on all sales and property tax exemptions. 3. Any new tax credit for economic development should produce a return investment or not be granted. 4. Kansas needs a policy on sales and property tax exemptions.

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remember_username 3 years, 2 months ago

Nothing like leaving - just in time.

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fu7il3 3 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, they will have money to maintain buildings, but the people maintaining them won't be able to afford to pay their mortgages.

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usnsnp 3 years, 2 months ago

Every State worker that I have delt with have provided good service. The idea of privitizing Government jobs are a boondogle, In the military the privitizing of military jobs has cost the government a lot of extra money.

Here are a couple of questions too answer: 1. Can state workers strike for better pay. 2. Who determins the pay scale for state workers. 3. Who determins the regulations and payout for state workers retirement. 4. Who has controled the state legislature for the last 50 years.

Answers 1. NO 2. STATE LEGISLATURE 3. STATE LEGISLATURE 4. REPUBLICANS

So it would seem to me that it should not be the workers that everybody should be mad at, it should be the REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE, the workers do not have any control of how much they get payed, it is the Legislature that has determined this in the past.

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Keith Richards 3 years, 2 months ago

This does nothing to reduce the 'size' of government. Cut programs that aren't needed or don't function properly. Cut employees that are underperforming.

Get rid of all of the duplicate (105) district courts in every county. Provide district courts according to population centers. Get rid of all of the school districts. Consolidating school districts would save 10's of millions in administrative costs.

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maudeandcecil 3 years, 2 months ago

Surely the final budget will rectify the discrepancy in the proposed budget that calls for equally cutting incomes for lower and higher earning state employees? My other thought and this goes without saying, but any cut to state employee incomes will be a huge hit to Lawrence, where many residents work at KU or other state agencies in Topeka. (sigh) Here’s my favorite line in the article. It’s so ridiculous; it’s funny:

At Regents universities, money from the pay cuts could be redirected to fixing a backlog of repairs and maintenance of campus buildings. DeGraaf said it was necessary to keep higher education funding at a level that would satisfy federal requirements to get stimulus funds.

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Alceste 3 years, 2 months ago

Take a look at who makes what within the state of Kansas government payroll:

http://www.kansasopengov.org/StateGovernment/SGPayGrid/tabid/1553/Default.aspx

here is a listing of those making over $100k:

http://www.kansasopengov.org/StateGovernment/SG100kEarners/tabid/1551/Default.aspx

Fun finding out what is what. KU "educators" appear to be more akin to robber barrons than anything else! hahahahahahahahaha

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AnonymousBosch 3 years, 2 months ago

This is terrible - to pretend like ALL state employees are paid at a rate at which they can afford a 7.5% pay cut. Honestly. There has to be another solution - a scaled cut or "only those who make over X get a cut." Yes, there are fatcat state employees, but there are also state employees who make 30 grand or LESS. I am horrified at the notion that this is a "solution" to problems. And to claim that universities can spend the money they save on infrastructure (meaning physical structures) is stupid: they will all fail without their most important investment: faculty and staff - many of whom cannot afford this cut. Great. Who else is proud to be a Kansan?

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terp 3 years, 2 months ago

KU only receives 24% of its funding from the state (the rest from tuition, grants, etc), but its employees may have to take a 7.5% pay cut? By my math, that is a 31% cut in state-funded pay. 31%.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Many view this as a solution to a problem. But to believe that is really nothing more than an admission that the US economy is on a permanent downward spiral. Kansas is just doing its part in the global race to the bottom, enthusiastically jumping on the deflationary bandwagon.

But on the bright side, Wall Street goes on speculating-- sorry, investing-- everywhere but here, and they are giving out record bonuses, courtesy of the shrinking paychecks that used to belong to us.

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sassything 3 years, 2 months ago

As someone at the top end of the KU pay pyramid - I agree the paycut should be proportional. It makes much more sense for me to receive a 10% cut (as difficult as that would be) and to spare those making $24,000 from any cut at all. For me - it means a tighter world. For them - it means the difference between having food on the table or a place to live.

Or offer early retirement. Allow furloughs. Consider something more than a one size fits all solution.

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Debra Schmidt 3 years, 2 months ago

When you create a painful cut on the end of your finger, it is sometimes call a prick. I suspect there are similarities in descriptions with State level elected officials.

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 2 months ago

Better yet. How about people take responsbility for their behaviour. Then the government would not need SRS anymore. What?! The government doesn't teach "responsibility" in government schools anymore?

Oh I get it. The government doesn't teach responsibility in their schools anymore so that they can herd people with government run SRS and lock up deadbeats with government police in government jails to be tried by the government legal system and complain that Koch has all the money.

This must be the "Circle of Government Life" that their enablers/employees desperately need.

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OldSoldier 3 years, 2 months ago

As an SRS employee, our workforce has been slashed to the bone. There were 8 four years ago doing the work. Now there are 2, and guess what? The work is not getting done. Requirements for timeliness, accountability and efficiency are not being met. We aren't working in the social welfare agency to make money, and now there is a proposal to cut our pay while expecting more. That's not right.

If there is to be a pay cut, how about scaling it to salaries, especially those making $40,000 or more. It is not fair to cut pay for those barely making above minimum wage at the same rate as the highest paid state employees.

Better yet, how about tapping Brownback's billionaire buddies, the Kochs? They could erase the budget deficit without having to give up their billionaire status. Headline: Brownback's Billionaire Buddies Bail Out Budget.

Maybe another solution to reduce costs is to cut the Legislature's session to 45 days, instead of 90. Make the windbags get down to business right away, and save millions in what it costs to pay them, house them, transport them.

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Verdad 3 years, 2 months ago

I took a 10% pay cut at my job last year. The economy is bad, items need to be cut.

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 2 months ago

With a hint of trepidation in his voice. The Hawaiian Dude said the country is still economically the strongest in the world. Pianist Lang Lang is chuckling.

State government employees should be happy they only got a 7.5% cut. Something for nothing is better than nothing for something.

Love your boss. The tax payers need it.

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openminded 3 years, 2 months ago

Geez! We finally got a 2.5% raise this past June after YEARS of nothing...insurance rates upped, medicine is now super expensive compared to last year, co-pays went up as well and now they are decreasing my pay! So, we are supposed to be taking care of inmates, getting battered and assaulted often and now making close to minimum wage! NICE! Glad I didn't vote for Brownback.

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gammimc 3 years, 2 months ago

I worked at KU for 6 years a long time ago. What I can tell you is that if you are a classified employee, you won't ever get the pay that you deserve. Ever.

My advice to you is to get out of there as soon as you possibly can. There is a much more rewarding job in the private sector, that pays much better and has better bennies.

Good luck.

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Water 3 years, 2 months ago

I would invite everyone to visit...

http://www.ksrevenue.org/

double click on tax delinquencies and see how many businesses and individuals have not paid their taxes from as far back as 2004. It's A LOT of money.

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love2fish_ks 3 years, 2 months ago

This is a poor choice by the elected officals. A paycut of 7.5% will just make 100% mad and it does nothing to reduce cost, i.e. employee benefit cost (healthcare, social security tax 7%), conferences, training, and education reimbursement. The only time a across the board paycut is in order is if the salaries are out of line.

The only real way to reduce cost is to have fewer employees. That is why companies have choosen to cut staff and leave salaries in place.

The sate should cut non-law enforcement staff by 10% and bloated KDOT by 20%.

The remaining state employees (80-90%) will be happy they have a job and emotionally recover in 3 or 4 months. A 10% headcount reduction should be a piece of cake.

Additional cuts can be made by increasing the employee share of healthcare cost and elimanating the defined benefit retirement plan for anyone under the age of 50. Another good one is to eliminate overtime pay for salaried employees. (Yes it is legal to do that)

Today state workers take home pay is more than their civilian counterparts and have a superior retirement plan.

Now those are real savings that are very doable. The state employees will yell, scream, and complain but they will act like kidergardners no matter what happens.

Time to man-up and do it!!!!

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CHEEZIT 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh No Bill Self is going to lose about $17.000!!! Wait, he'll get it back when he wins the Big 12, $50,000 I think the contract says!!!

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JackMcKee 3 years, 2 months ago

If you didn't have such opulent benefits this might not be an issue. Pastries for thought.

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Disk2Legacy 3 years, 2 months ago

How about leaving the state employees alone and let’s get rid of all the buses we have here and if you MUST have a public transportation, we purchase a bunch of cars capable of getting 40MPG. After all, have you seen more than 4 people on a bus at a time? If you do, it's RARE. We could CUT the school superintendents pay by half. That alone will save us a bundle. We should do that all across the state. Furthermore, half the people working at the school district could be cut; mostly the administration. For that matter, sell the building. I'm sure they have an old school building somewhere they have closed down they could use for an office. I like healthcare moochers idea of cutting the welfare by 30% then let them know that Missouri has a better welfare system. Why Kansas is at the cutting edge of this failed program I'll never know. We should charge admission to the library to help offset the costs of the library. Most Legions, VFW's and Eagles ect. Charge $300 and up for space for their halls. The Library should charge for theirs.

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Betty Bartholomew 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm not entirely surprised by this turn of events. What was it, a year-and-a-half ago or so when the Republicans in office were trying to force Sebelius to sign a budget by threatening to not pay state workers? I said back then that people needed to remember that and vote against every single office holder at the time, Republican or Democrat, because they obviously couldn't work together and none of them cared a whit about the underlings.

The Democrats lost their seats, the Republicans involved kept theirs, and now the underlings are not just being threatened, they're being walked up to the gallows.

It's frustrating.

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mr_right_wing 3 years, 2 months ago

So state employees who own property in Lawrence...

Your pay is going down, yet your property tax is going up, because the library expansion couldn't be put off another minute

I guess one really kind of compliments the other...you'll use the library more now that you won't be able to afford quite as many books or CDs or videos.

Enjoy.

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JustAsking 3 years, 2 months ago

What the he..l is this?

"At regents universities, the cut salaries could be re-directed to fixing a backlog of repairs and maintenance of campus buildings. DeGraaf said it was necessary to keep higher education funding at a level that would satisfy federal requirements to get stimulus funds."

Redirected? How is this going to add to the "bottom line"? Hey, I thought you conservatives were opposed to federal government stimulus spending; now you think it’s something good?

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irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

that is an interesting question. if you are a state employee who voted for Brownback do you feel somewhat responsible for what's happening to you?

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JustAsking 3 years, 2 months ago

How about beginning to collect taxes from some of the exempt organizations across the state? Let's start with the religious organizations. Some must be doing extremely well give some of the huge building being erected across the state.

Some of them in Johnson County are bigger than the areas elementry schools.

These organizations benefit from state services. Why should they not contribute? This is a fair tax because it impact all attendee the same, regardless of their income level

Far better than cutting state employees pay!!!

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Bob Forer 3 years, 2 months ago

Would love to hear from state employees who voted for Brownback, or any other Republican. They forgot to tell you they were gonna stick it in your back while they were pimping for your vote, didn't they? Well, how do you like your boys now?

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yankeevet 3 years, 2 months ago

So we take a 7.5% pay cut; but then are expected to donate more money out of our check to KPERS because they are broke too?

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 2 months ago

Across-the-Board cuts are inconsistent with the State's mission, and with what I thought I heard new Gov Sam say he was going to do. Good management of the State requires that we look at the "CORE FUNCTIONS" of the State government, and that we properly fund those functions. Having done so, we look at other programs that are less vital or necessary, and fund them as we are able.

To cut the pay of workers performing the "Core Functions" of government, before eliminating the fluff programs or examining things such as welfare benefit levels and discount college for illegal aliens, is a step in the wrong direction, at least as to sequence and timing.

Gov Sam -- I thought we were going to determine what the State MUST do, and fund those things, then see if the State can afford to do other things that it would LIKE to do, but need not do, if it comes down to it.

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lawslady 3 years, 2 months ago

Want to know where a bunch of money went? The renovations on the state capital included cyrstal lamps hand blown and imported. Without bids. The laws that other agencies and private businesses follow do not apply to legislators. They can "sell" their "used" (2 years is OLD) computers and other office furniture to family members (or selves) for a pittance, instead of sending it to be sold at auction (as other agencies must do). You want to cut some costs? Stop paying legislators for every day they are in session - and encourage them to get their work done faster instead of dragging it out as long as possible. Also, how much is spent to print up hundreds of copies of "do nothing" resolutions that have no impact except to make someone happy or feel better (e.g. see the one about encouraging Congress to amend the constitution ...dating back to 1978!). http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/year1/measures/

There IS a ton of waste going on. But there are also many state employees who work hard 8 hours (or more) per day, and do so because they believe in public service not getting rich.

The state is going to go bankrupt soon. So we all better start learning to live with family members and hoard food supplies and water.

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gbulldog 3 years, 2 months ago

Some State workers that I have worked with are very qualified and decidated to quality performance for both State and local government. However the State personell system is flawed in classifying workers. An employee that works for government should meet and received simular pay like private business. As an example, an accountant, who does not have a college degree from an accredited 4 year college, should not be classified as an accountant or an auditor, or paid as if they had the necessary education. If they are able to do the job, then the job is overclassified, and the State is wasting money. it is very difficult to work with person lacking in basic knowledge of finance..(example - basis of cost accounting).

A few years back, the Topeka Capital Journal publish an article about a lady nominated for a YWCA award becaise of her achievements in a a fincial person for a State Agency. Her qualification were: had a GED, attended a defunct business school (not a college) and had attended a min-MBA 2week seminar at Washburn. Also she liked numbers. It did not say how polictically connected she was.

If Brownback truly wants the State to live withn a reasonanlble budget and provide needed services, then he needs to find out the qualifications of the staff thaf is providing information for the basis to make decisions As an old saying "Garbage in, Garbage out."

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Bob Forer 3 years, 2 months ago

How bout releasing non-violent offenders from prison early.

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bobberboy 3 years, 2 months ago

All politicians should work for free. Raise taxes on the rich.

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Keith Richards 3 years, 2 months ago

I would like someone who opposes these cuts to tell us what agencies and what state employees are so worthless that you can do without?

How come no one from the legislature recommends cutting/stopping the >300,000,000.00 state house renovation budget. Yeah, that is a necessity!

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Agnostick 3 years, 2 months ago

The Dopamine Trolls want to build their own roads? I say let 'em do it! Police their own homes? Let 'em do it! Fight their own fires? Let 'em do it! Teach their own kids? Let 'em do it!

Let 'em buy a plot of land with an outhouse and a few corn cobs, and all the right-wing methadone they can snort. ScaryBarry will tweak 'til the cows come home!

Asphalt, dopamine receptors, and tax breaks live unprecedented!

Ghworg builds your roads!

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dinglesmith 3 years, 2 months ago

This is, in effect, a 7.5% tax levied on state employees. A tax on all Kansans is incomprehensible, but a tax restricted to state employees is perfectly fine. Do they get 7.5% more time off? Do students pay 7.5% less tuition? Somehow I doubt it,

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bobberboy 3 years, 2 months ago

did someone say the price of oil and food is going up again ?

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BigAl 3 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if Mr. Brownback will continue to accept his farm subsidies? Or is that "bailout" ok with him?

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kat66044 3 years, 2 months ago

You can follow the legislation at this link http://www.kslegislature.org/li/ . The site is currently being reconstructed, but most of the current information is available.

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KU_cynic 3 years, 2 months ago

This is going to be a big blow to Lawrence governments if it goes through. Specifically, an effective cut of 7.5% in KU's payroll is going to directly affect sales tax receipts (through reduced purchasing) and reduced residential property taxes as income reduction serves to depress home prices.

City, County, and USD 497: don't say you didn't these effects as you set your own budgets for the next fiscal year.

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Flux12n21 3 years, 2 months ago

If we're serious about improving the Kansas economy, then we need more people to come to the state. Particularly professionals - and in order to attract professionals we need to pay them appropriate and competitive wages. How can a university (as this is one place that does bring professionals in) attract those employees and set a foundation for a vibrant economy if we are not willing to pay them?

Just pointing it out.

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Steve Jacob 3 years, 2 months ago

Wow, I feel sorry for those who will take that hit. State workers do a good job, they did not get us into this mess. Like tax hikes, cuts like this have unattended consequences. The voters wanted less government, and that's what we are going to get, so we have to deal with the effects. It's just like the Library vote, I don't like it, but I will live with it because the majority voted for it.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 3 years, 2 months ago

The state is just like your home: you must make what you spend match what you earn or you'll go bankrupt. After years of "hide your head in the sand" economic policies, we are now forced to do this. OR, raise taxes AGAIN. I was making an observation at the store the other day: Sales taxes have tripled in Kansas since I was in my teens.

We've tried higher taxes, and we've failed at making that "work".

And before anyone accuses me of being independently wealthy, let me say that my family's income is 100% dependent on a state salary.

I'm not happy with the governor's solution, but at some point, this becomes the inevitable last resort.

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absolutelyridiculous 3 years, 2 months ago

I am self-employed and have seen a huge cut in pay (over 15%) over the past three years. My health insurance premiums aren't going down (oh-I pay 100% for a single payer plan with outrageous deductibles) and I get to pay BOTH halves of my social security. I don't get every other Monday off as a holiday. When I do take a vacation—which has been over 2 years now—no body else pays my paycheck. And retirement? What the heck is that?

There is so much waste at the state level as I hear from friends who work at the state. Employees show up late or "work from home" for a month. I'm kinda tired of paying for all that. If you don't do the work...you don't get paid. I think we've forgotten that.

Thank you Sam. Thank you for ending the era of entitlement. Time to go out and kill something so you can eat folks.

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knowledge_power 3 years, 2 months ago

Let's just make this simple shall we? K.I.S.S. I have only ONE WORD for the budget people. WELFARE FRAUD (OK ~ 2 words) Bold, deliberate, generational Fraud (they saw the mother get away with it so now the next generation is doing it) which is costing the State MILLIONS. To make matters worse (or BETTER for the people frauding) the State employee is told 'verification' is not necessary. Proof they live where they say they live is not necessary? Seriously?? Seems by ‘not asking’ this makes the State look good and makes it appears there are 'no errors' So..... The State of Kansas is approving Food Stamps and Cash Assistance to an abandoned house. You tell me.
- And is seems Child Care providers licenses are passed out like candy. Every sister, mother or aunt is qualifying. So ...a mother walks in and gets child care and we turn around and pay her mother (who coincidently is the provider) so...... now ALL THE FAMILY is being paid by St of Kansas. How convenient. Again – Seriously?
- FRAUD is sucking Millions of $$ that is going unchecked. And now you want to TAKE $ away from the people who are providing these services?

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Alceste 3 years, 2 months ago

Who has the popcorn concession for this train wreck?!

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gudpoynt 3 years, 2 months ago

ok people. Here's a link to all the budget proposals:

http://budget.ks.gov/gbr.htm

And here's a link straight to the details of latest one.

http://bit.ly/hCMoF2

Let's root through this thing and see if we can't see if there's a better place where money is hiding.

Personally, I'd like to see more on how the $102 million in "Off Budget Expenditures" is being spent. Is there no way to trim fat here?

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LawmomX3 3 years, 2 months ago

Why is it always the State Employee that suffers for the budget.
They haven't had a raise in years, layoff's and hiring freezes from the past have caused increased workload to the point that work is not getting done in a timely or accurate manner and now the government is cutting 2000 more positions and cutting pay. This is just another slap in the face to the State worker who is doing the best they can with very little.

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Anonymity 3 years, 2 months ago

As a state employee I get so sick of people bashing us. I get up and go to work every day like everyone else. I work hard to help the people of Kansas and yet all I hear from private sector people is how "lazy" I am, and how I don't deserve to make a paycheck. You don't know me and you don't know the work that I do. I have bills and a family to support just like you. Most of you don't know how state agencies are actually funded, either. These across the board paycuts don't work because some agencies are primarily funded with federal dollars, while others are funded mostly from the state general fund. Cutting the salaries of employees whose jobs are federally funded won't save the state a dime. But who cares as long as it's "fair". So don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes, lawrenceguy40.

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HollisBrown 3 years, 2 months ago

Just another reason to be happy I don't work for this bass ackward state anymore......

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KU_cynic 3 years, 2 months ago

Question to Scott Rothschild:

Something I don't quite understand from this story; perhaps you can clear this up.

Under this proposal, will state employees see their last six pay periods' salaries cut by 7.5%, or their entire fiscal year pay reduced by 7.5% with the pain all coming in the last six pay periods? Which is it?

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Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

And yes, state employees have not had a raise in over three years.

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Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

By LAW the state must have a balanced budget. I am sure this is just the first in a long line of proposals to hit the wall. Then Kansas will find out what sticks and what stinks.

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4chewnut 3 years, 2 months ago

Hey - let's cut the $6 million for the Office of the State Fair. Keep salaries of those who work and will stimulate the economy. Or how about cut the board of barbers and board of cosmology for almost another million. Could keep KNI funding then, too.

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conqdad 3 years, 2 months ago

Well this proposal will certainly reverse the brain drain and motivate highly skilled employees to decide to work in government and higher education.

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lawslady 3 years, 2 months ago

When was the last time state employees got a raise? Over 3 years ago some have said. Anyone in the private sector who has not seen a raise in 3 years and whose bills would get paid if their salary is cut by this % please raise your hand. Bad move for the economy. Prices go up, but income goes down = depression. And I don't mean in the "bad mood" sense.

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irnmadn88 3 years, 2 months ago

Is it ironic that the first pay period where this proposal would take effect ends on April 15, otherwise known as Tax Day?

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JillianG 3 years, 2 months ago

I work for KU as an hourly employee. I am so trying to put myself through school. Here is the reality of being a KU employee:

Think of it as a triangle. The higher up you go, the less people occupy the top but make the higher salaries. The lower you go is where most of us are, we occupy the large space and make by far less money. When I mean 'less' money, we're talking hourly employees at a number far under $10 an hour. For many of us, a city like Lawrence compared to more rural areas is considered a place for 'high rents' so less than $10 an hour results in many of us barely scraping by every month. Right now. As it is.

So find another job you say? Interesting. Clearly you are unfamiliar with the job market here in Lawrence which is to say there is none outside of the university and a few private sector companies who routinely have more applications then they have positions. The leftover options are a series of retail and dining establishments which pretty much pay about what we make now so that gets us no further along economically. And at least in my case, I still have to contend with school so I'm limited in how many hours I can work and so the possibility of getting another job is an even dicier proposition.

So find a job in KC or Topeka you say? Interesting. If you can find that, then whatever differences in what you're making are eaten up with extra commuting costs.

So move you say? I can barely afford to live now as it is- how am I expected to front a security deposit and all the expenses that go into moving?

I get that through a collective effort of people from all sides of the political spectrum, Kansas is in a bad way financially now and that Brownback is to some extent stuck with the bill. The cuts for the people at the top of the pyramid means they can't go on vacation this summer to Disneyworld or they'll have to curb their $4 latte habit maybe a little bit. The cuts for the bottom of the pyramid mean something a lot different: the inability to pay your most basic utilities in full every month, the possibility of having to suck it up and visit a food bank, living off your credit cards and digging an even deeper financial hole for yourself, eviction.

It's totally soulcrushing. I'll be honest. I have no idea what's going to happen to me or other state employees like me and it's very scary. I would hope that those of us at the very bottom of this pay pyramid aren't hacked into like a Thanksgiving turkey but I have little faith that the working poor are even a blip on the radar of our current state government.

Thanks for nothing, state of Kansas.

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skinny 3 years, 2 months ago

Instead of cutting state employees pay how about offering those state employees that are within three of four years of retirement an early buy out. That's save them a lot more money and it wouldn't be a temporary fix.

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footballguy 3 years, 2 months ago

gogo thinks ALL state employees are moochers living off other people's money. Guess that doesn't apply to his insurance agent (he doesn't get money from gogo) or his auto mechanic (he works for free), etc. gogo would like to drive down dirt roads (state money builds roads), protect himself from criminals (wouldn't be any law enforcement), etc.

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footballguy 3 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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bobberboy 3 years, 2 months ago

Pete is nothing more than another koch brother GOPher.

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gogoplata 3 years, 2 months ago

State employees are living off the tax money of people with real jobs. Cut jobs, pay them less, do whatever it takes to keep more money in the pockets of people with jobs that actually help society.

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footballguy 3 years, 2 months ago

Don't understand why state employees have to be penalized for the problems the WHOLE state is experiencing. It is not the state employees fault that the state is having financial problems. Make the whole state pay up! Add another temporary sales tax or something. But, oh no, that would not be fair to everyone. Better to just stick it to the state employess! They just have to sit and take it.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

This whole "austerity" thing is a variation on the Shock Doctrine.

Only this time, instead of a natural disaster, it's an intentional trashing of the economy, and using the ensuing chaos that's created to allow folks like the Koch brothers to destroy every part of government that doesn't directly benefit them.

http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

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Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

Maybe, just maybe, the croonies that work at KJJA, could go back to being lunch ladies.

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sunnmoon 3 years, 2 months ago

Kinda like watching a sinking ship. As people begin to panic more and more they will use others to help them stay afloat longer, even family and friends. and yet all the while only putting off the inevitable. Wonder whose head will go down right before ol sammy's?

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Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 2 months ago

The democratic solution is more entitlements. Look where this has gotten us. Maybe, Brownback and the others we elected to straighten out the negative cash flow in our state government are setting the table to get rid of the 99ers, welfare and things we dont need like public transportation, and other forms of entitlements that only attract those who cant pay their bills. If you dont work, then you dont deserve to have a cell phone or eat steak!

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 2 months ago

Tote, granny, vocal, 4chew, bozo, dulcine, krichards et al... Brownback and the Republicans are doing this to save the state from bankruptcy. What part of that don't you understand? We don't have the money and raising taxes will kill our fragile economy. You can thank President Hope & Change, Harry, Nancy, the banking queen and all the rest of the Democrats for this financial mess. Liberalism will always fail.

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toe 3 years, 2 months ago

This is more than one could have hoped for. Now pensions need reduced. All of this could be easily predicted as Federal money poured in to support state spending. The well is dry. Welcome to reality.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

I would suggest that the state drop the medical insurance industry as the insurer and request that state employees become elgible for IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for ALL.

Do this rather than cut their pay.

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irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

it's hard to see wages cut but the alternative is to lay off workers (newest hires) who make the least money. we don't need more unemployment and those people need their jobs as much or more than the folks who have been there 20 or 30 years. i like the idea of mandatory retirement at 62.

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Countryfied12 3 years, 2 months ago

Funny how welfare is going up and people wanting to work is going down. Just a side note if you look into the state system on avg they are at half staff if not less in most agencys so for all the not so bright folks saying pay them what you get out of them. Get a state job and try to live off their pay its not as great as you think. If you look at most position they are under 35000 a year thats a heavy cut. Oh and btw when you furlough the srs people that means all the people that arent trying to get a job and pull their check from the state may not get it cause they arent there 5 days a week only 4. If you want to cut something go after the folks that arent trying not the workers trying to make it on low pay but have high expectations on them

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kaw7987 3 years, 2 months ago

I can barely make ends meet as it is. How upsetting.

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consumer1 3 years, 2 months ago

While your at it vote yourself another raise for all your hard work.

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IHeartKS 3 years, 2 months ago

There are a plenty of overpaid middle managers in the state, especially at the KDOC. They have marketing managers that don't have basic marketing knowledge like what a demographic is and fiscal managers that don't know know simple math. Yet individuals with Master's are making $9 an hour as administrative assistants. Crazy!

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ronwell_dobbs 3 years, 2 months ago

Having worked in the private sector as a consultant to State governments for nearly my entire career I have seen the following happen over and over again:

1.) State cuts worker salaries across the board

2.) Those workers who joined for public service reasons who are highly skilled (like IT, architect, legal, professional services, etc.) bolt since the pay is now so grossly below private sector wages

3.) State has obligations to meet so bids for outsourcing of services (and Republicans have a happy accident in their pants)

4.) Bids come in much higher than anticipated but what can the State do? They have obligations.

5.) State spends more money than before on services that used to be performed in-house.

Look, if your a Republican, at least be honest and state that your goal is to put more jobs in the private sector. Don't for a minute pretend that this will really save money in the long run. State workers are NOT overpaid by any stretch of the imagination.

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autie 3 years, 2 months ago

Now is there a clear difference between state employees and public employees? Teachers work for the districts..but have KPERS and paid with state funds...quasi state. What is the deal-ee-o? Or are we talking all those people in the Harrison and Docking and Eisenhower building and KDOT and KWDP and stuff?

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MyName 3 years, 2 months ago

I think the person who is proposing this needs to decide whether they want less government, or a crappier government. The first involves reducing the number of jobs, the second involves cutting pay so all of the good employees leave.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Maybe they should also pass a law that allows state employees to reduce all their living expenses by 7.5%. So, if their mortgage is now $1000 a month, it'd be reduced to $925. When they go to the grocery store, if the bill comes up to $100, they'd only have to pay $92.50.

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brngbckwoo 3 years, 2 months ago

I don't understand. KU staff are state employees, is that pay being cut as well?

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lgreen17 3 years, 2 months ago

what's the matter with you Lawrenceguy40? we are people, just like you, who work hard everyday for very little pay as it is. I'm just sick.

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Mark Pickerel 3 years, 2 months ago

KU employees will likely be on a furlough system, which is more equitable. I don't think anyone making less than 30K will be affected.

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sunnmoon 3 years, 2 months ago

If you cut a persons wage or salary, they don't make as much money, which in turn means they don't pay as much in taxes. Plus they don't have as much money, so they don't buy as much stuff. Im no financial expert, but how exactely does this help? If you gotta balance the budget, how does taking away a persons ability to take care of themselves help? I agree everyone needs to help out because we are all in this together whether we agree or not. I don't really see a mass exodus out of Kansas happening. Or the country for that matter. Our hands seem very tied state wide and throughout the country. The very thing so many people like to stand behind is our Constitution, our rights as people, as Americans. Doesn't the Declaration of Independence open with "WE the people"? I don't think that was stated in that manner so we could pick and choose when we were part of the people or not. Everyone is in this great country together, and we do very little to keep our elected officials in check, and now we have to pay for that. It sure as hell is not fair, but it seems right.

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akt2 3 years, 2 months ago

At least they still have a job. For now. If they don't like it they can jump on Career Builder and start looking. Welcome to the real world of those who worked in the private sector, and had no choice of a pay cut because they lost their job, health insurance and all other benefits.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Why not just completely eliminate their salaries and benefits and give them cake vouchers.

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lawrenceguy40 3 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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mr_right_wing 3 years, 2 months ago

Ouch!! Sure glad I'm not a state employee!

As long as this applies to EVERYONE including the amount Gov. Brownback was planning to make.

Is Bill Self considered a 'state employee' or is he paid by KUAC? I guess it doesn't matter, he's probably protected by contract.

Do your taxes ASAP this year; I have a feeling there are going to be periods once again where they can't issue refund checks!

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desertrose 3 years, 2 months ago

I know people on unemployment who are not WANTING to get jobs because they just keep extending their money. I hope unemployment and welfare are also getting cut 7.5 percent. The university talked last year about taking furloughs. Depending on your earnings you would have to take off more or less time. Too bad they can't put the 7.5 % on earnings above a certain amount . I know working people who are already having to decide if they can afford their medications.

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Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 2 months ago

I am sure glad we have the empT and a new library comming. What peace those of you that just got a pay cut should find in helping your fellow taxpayer now. I applaud you!

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3 years, 2 months ago

Let me get this straight - we need to stimulate the economy in order to generate employment. So, in order to stimulate the economy, we are REDUCING the amount of money that the state government is expending? Somehow, that doesn't make much sense to me. How is reducing state government spending going to help generate state employee spending?

Is there a requirement that state government employ only state residents?

Is there a requirement that state government purchase goods and services only from Kansas based companies?

These requirements would help stimulate the Kansas economy . . .

If we focus on costs and cutting back - we will get more costs and cutting back.

If we focus on generating revenues and intelligent spending to stimulate the economy, we will get revenues and a stimulated economy.

Similar to reducing spending on education by 16 million in order to incur a 70 million dollar fine . . . is this intelligent spending?

State government needs to expand its view of the economic landscape to include as many of the consequences of spending reductions as it can.

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Keith Richards 3 years, 2 months ago

We will see if Brownback supports this or not.

How about this cut becomes more progressive. For instance, state emplyees making

$200k=10% cut $150k=8% cut $100k=6% $60k=4%

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trinity 3 years, 2 months ago

seems i remember from the last such employee "money saving" pay cut, that judges were exempt due to legislation that their pay can not be cut??? um-will there need to be new/different legislation brought that will allow for judges to be included in this 7.5 reduction in pay?

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Adrienne Sanders 3 years, 2 months ago

Brownback talks about how important higher education is, and then does this, when a lot of people who will be affected work at institutions of higher ed. Hypocrite.

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Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 2 months ago

I'll bet money it will not end June 30. A guy making $20/hour just went to $18.50. Pretty good chunk. ...and welfare keeps rolling along.

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pace 3 years, 2 months ago

I think it is necessary to make across the board cuts. Is the legislature the governor and all the elected officers of the state cut too? Now if they only would make the taxes fair. That won't happen. It isn't on the table. They will even take some of the tax money "saved" and support corporations in the black., We need jobs, stop the foreclosures, education, training. instead we will bolster the economic adventurers club.Programs and assets built up by generations of Kansan's are going to be sold to cronies. The building maintenance, which could be jobs and training, a Kansas CCC won't happen, roofs won't be repaired on our schools, on state own buildings, emergency response capabilities will be sucked so Koch and ilk don't have to pay a fair share of taxes.

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johnnycash 3 years, 2 months ago

Do they know that most of KU/K-State employees work around 30000 if not less? How are we going to pay bills?

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kernal 3 years, 2 months ago

For those of you who overlooked the last sentence of this story, the proposal does include cutting elected officials salaries by 7.5 percent; that includes Governor Brownback and members of the state legislature.

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 2 months ago

Do I get to cut my taxes by this amount as well?

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4chewnut 3 years, 2 months ago

Heck of a way to stimulate the economy, Sam. I assume you will include yourself and your staff in this rather drastic cut? Still need school vouchers though, right?

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 2 months ago

Excellent. Hope & change! Yes we can!

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Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 2 months ago

Why not cut ALL elected state officials pay by 7.5 percent and we'll have more than enough money?!

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Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 2 months ago

Ain't this great.... cut working peoples pay and continue to just give welfare away. How about cutting welfare 25-30% and advertise that Missouri's welfare pays better?

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Joe Blackford II 3 years, 2 months ago

Why doesn't Brownback want to cut the Kansas Bioscience Authority's unnecessary funding & fold KBA into the KDOC? Well, because KSU is his alma mater, & 3 fellow alumni, Ret. Colonels David Franz, Jerry & Nancy K. Jaax, manipulated the Dept. of Homeland Security's selection of KSU for the National Agro- & Bio-terrorism DEFENSE Facility. Franz sits on the DHS committee which secretly selected KSU; he sits on the KBA; he's a VP @ Midwest Research Institute (a DHS contractor); he sits on the CDC's NIH dual-use research committee; as in my employee studied anthrax for the Army AND mailed it in 2001, killing FIVE innocent Americans.

That successful act of bioterrorism = the Colonels success in getting NBAF @ KSU. They also got KSU the Bioscience Research Institute (aka Pat Roberts Hall) built. The BRI is now costing KSU (us taxpayers) $1 MILLION/year to operate.

IF the KSU Colonels are successful, the NBAF will study Hoof & Mouth Disease, endangering Kansas' ranching. Look for our Gov, Sens & Reps to push Congress to permit the study of HMD on the U.S. Mainland.

See:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-110hrpt940/html/CRPT-110hrpt940.htm

"The Committee's jurisdiction over these issues could have been asserted throughout the 110th Congress, but especially in the wake of the FBI's determination that the anthrax attacks were perpetrated by an American scientist at an elite American biodefense laboratory*."

*US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease, commanded by Col. Franz & home to the 2001 Anthrax Mailer, Dr. Bruce Ivins.

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