Archive for Friday, January 28, 2011

Statehouse Live: Kansas Democrats blast Republican plan to cut state employee pay

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 28, 2011

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— Democratic leaders in the Legislature on Friday criticized a House Republican plan that could cut state workers' pay by 7.5 percent, saying the proposal is indicative of several GOP initiatives that would hurt low- and middle-income Kansans.

"There is a strong desire among the extreme right wing of the Republican Party to get their pound of flesh from university and state employees," said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence.

Earlier this week, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee pushed through a budget proposal that would cut state wages and salaries by 7.5 percent.

In order to avoid a federal penalty, the proposed cuts for university employee wages would be funneled back into maintenance and repairs of campus buildings.

The author of the proposal, state Rep. Pete DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, said the pay cuts were needed to bridge an estimated $550 million revenue shortfall in the next fiscal year.

"Certainly this is painful, but we've got people in Wichita, my constituents, some of which have lost their jobs and been out of work now for over two years, some companies have lost 50 to 60 percent of their personnel," he said.

But Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said he was appalled at the disdain some Republican legislators have for state employees.

"We should support those who work for us. They are hard-working, dedicated people. The last thing we should do is try to balance the budget on their backs," he said.

The two Democrats also pointed to other legislation proposed by Republicans that would delay unemployment benefits and give corporations more tax breaks.

The debate over state employee pay may erupt next week when the full House considers the budget plan.

House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said there is confusion over the proposal.

He said state agencies would be given flexibility on how to cut 7.5 percent in salary expenditures, which means they could leave some positions unfilled or enact furloughs. He said not all state workers would see a 7.5 percent cut.

"My sense is to let the agencies have as much control over how they would absorb an X-percent cut," he said. But O'Neal said that state elected officials and agency chiefs should take the 7.5 percent cut.

"The top tier ought to have skin in the game and that includes guys like me," he said.

Comments

estespark 4 years, 4 months ago

"He said not all state workers would see a 7.5 percent cut."

That'll go over like a fart in church.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 4 months ago

DeGraaf shouldn't hold back with what he really thinks - "hey, I've got serfs in my district, you should have serfs, too. As I said yesterday, the fact that private companies had to cut back because of the recession is not the fault of state employees. In the old days, children of the depression often took public sector jobs knowing the pay would be less, but they traded that for job security - the government doesn't go out of business. Those in the private sector make a different choice. And as I also said yesterday, those in management make choices. You can lay-off or terminate workers, or you can try to reform the root cause of the recession - the banks. But if you want to vote the GOP ticket, don't be surprised with what happens. Amazing how at one time farmers knew not to trust the railroads or the banks, but there aren't many of those farmers left.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm going to confess, I'm going to come clean.

I voted for Mr. Brownback; but were I a state employee, I might be second-guessing or regretting that just a bit. (A bit as in 7.5 percent!)

Of course my only other choice was not to vote for Governor at all. There's no way I could put a checkmark next to the other guys name. At least Sam is up-front about it. The alternative would have been someone who steals it from you after you've cashed the check.

Jimo 4 years, 4 months ago

How long have you had these delusions? What do the voices tell you to do?

tomatogrower 4 years, 4 months ago

You obviously didn't bother getting to know Mr. Holland. He has been out in the real world running a business, so I think he knows more about what is happening than someone who is a career politician.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

.....you'd think that could be a logical conclusion; but you'd be wrong.

conservative 4 years, 4 months ago

There is no reason state employees should be exempt from economic reality. Most employers have either cut workers, cut benefits, cut hours, or cut pay. Most have done all of the above.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

Private employers have cut wages and jobs because their customers have made the decision that they don't need as much of their products or services, or they don't need them at all.

There has been no reduction in demand for the products and services from the state. To expect state employees to continue to provide those while requiring them to subsidize the cost of those services is not at all comparable.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

The problem with this argument is: While the services are required, the public's satisfaction is not very high with government because government employees make more than people in the private sector and they still do not get the job done.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

Yea, I know, that's the mantra of the right. But like most of their mantras, it's based on ideology, not fact.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Then, why, Bozo, are people at entry level jobs in the government making more than those in the private sector? Never mind, I know the answer: They are lawyers.

Katara 4 years, 4 months ago

Your article is about Federal workers. State workers are not the same nor is their compensation the same as it is dependent on each state. Also, there are quite a few problems with how they figured this "disparity".

For example, "Federal workers received average benefits worth $41,791 in 2009. Most of this was the government's contribution to pensions. Employees contributed an additional $10,569." This is not immediate pay nor an immediate benefit. And it is including this in a figure for a benefit that is rare in the private sector (with more corporations opting for 401ks). We should be comparing apples to apples, not pineapples to kumquats.

LA is doing something similar under Gov. Jindal and the articles indicates that state workers are not paid more than comparable jobs in the private sector.

"The move comes as state employee salaries lag behind those of employees in similar jobs in other states as well as in the private sector.

According to the 2010 Civil Service pay survey, salaries of some classified employees average 22 percent less than the norm in comparable positions.

In addition, the minimum pay in various job categories ranges from 7 percent to 29 percent behind that in Louisianas general employment market, the survey found." http://www.wwl.com/Jindal-to-state-workers--No-raise-for-you/9080854

On top of that, why should state workers whose salary is based on federal monies? All that does is cut the amount of any funds we receive from the Feds that help the state. When we are desperate for revenue to get us out of this mess, this is an unwise thing to do.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 4 months ago

That's just not true. Voters (consumers) voted for people who would make the cuts. Voters may not have voted for a reduction in services, just for a reduction in the cost of those services. If the time comes when voters want more services or are willing to pay more for those services, we will vote for representatives with that philosophy. We get what we vote for. That's very much like consumers who choose not to buy certain products forcing the private sector to cut costs by reducing wages or eliminating jobs.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"Voters may not have voted for a reduction in services, just for a reduction in the cost of those services."

They can vote to repeal gravity, too. Doesn't mean it'll happen.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 4 months ago

Your argument was that there no demand for a reduction of services. I do not think that is correct.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

People can be fairly selfish, and that's become a defining trait among Republicans. They generally only want funded the services that directly benefit them. But just because you don't recognize a need because it isn't yours doesn't mean that there is no need, or that by failing to meet the need that the demand will just magically disappear.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 4 months ago

Fine, then let's just suspend this messy democracy and put into positions of responsibility people that think exactly like you. Personally, I do not agree with all these cuts, but I respect the democratic process.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

How is expressing my opinion a call to suspend democracy?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

I think they wanted an easy answer, and they voted for those who gave them one, even though they can't deliver on it.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Conservative, it's not just state employees. Why can't the federal government do that as well? Oh, my bad, federal employees are unionized.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 4 months ago

Again, not true. The federal government can choose to deal with the union or not. Ask the air traffic controllers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

And there was a dramatic drop in the quality of work done by air traffic controllers after the union was busted and the less experienced replacement crews were tremendously overworked.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 4 months ago

Hey, rhd99 - did you ever think that's a primary reason to have a union - to prevent or curtail the employer's ability to unilaterally dictate the terms of employment? Since when did we conclude that employers are all knowing, wise and beneficent?

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

(LMAO), Wow, WWWW, tell me this: Why are State and Federal Employees making more money as union members when, more than half the time, they don't finish the job? Not all private employers have unions! The State and Federal Governments are right along with other employers, they are NOT all knowing and wise, ever think of that?

Eileen Jones 4 years, 4 months ago

So much for people accepting lower pay at the state than the private sector because they think there is more security.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 4 months ago

Maybe the problem isn't that the public sector pays too much (which statistically is a toss-up because there are few clear comparisons between public and private), maybe the problem is that over the last 30 years wages in the private sector have not kept pace and have become skewed to the upper end to the very few. Frequent, cyclical periods of downturns, closings and lay offs tend to destroy the wages and wealth of the working middle class.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

So, how then is it possible that government can solve this problem, when they create the regulations that could possibly kill job creating opportunities? Is there a solution?

William Weissbeck 4 years, 4 months ago

Do you mean child labor, sweat shops, piece labor and "The Jungle" type working conditions? Clean Air, Clean Water, safe food, OSHA? How about workers comp.? If you move a job overseas to avoid these, you are both a hypocrite and a coward. I'm sure there is over regulation and bad regulation - but the solution is not to cut off government at the knee caps.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Where the heck did you come up with sweat shops?! I did not say a dang thing about them. I am talking about government standing in the way of job creation when they over tax and over regulate businesses that are TRYING to make money so they can create jobs!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

Which businesses are over-regulated? Can you tell us which regulations are "over" whatever it is they are over?

As far as taxes go, what is considered essential spending, and what isn't, will always be open for debate. There will always be things that each of thinks could be eliminated. With that fact in mind, who should pay the taxes to cover government expenses, and who shouldn't?

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Cutting state employee salaries, most of whom make between $30,000-$70,000, while at the same time cutting taxes on corporations should be an obvious sign that the GOP in Kansas is nort concerned with the middle class.

It is a sign of how crazy the politics are in Kansas that they can do this with impunity.

Its like Marie Antoinette calling for her own head.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Government CANNOT create wealth, YWM. It has created lots of deficits! So, governments with deficits should reward their employees who don't do their jobs? I don't think so.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Yes they can. And they do. All of the time. Every major industry has government help in the form of troops, roads, infrastructure, mining rights, etc.

You may not want to believe it but it is true.

Jimo 4 years, 4 months ago

There's not a dollar of wealth that doesn't depend upon gov't for its creation. Don't believe me? Go set up your cupcake shop in one of the parts of the world without gov't and well see if you can make it one day!

booyalab 4 years, 4 months ago

That is ridiculous. A cupcake shop is a sign of prosperity, not a sign of government.

tomatogrower 4 years, 4 months ago

And how does that cupcake shop get it's supplies? On government roads. And how is the cupcake shop able to afford their materials? Government subsidized agriculture. And what does the cupcake shop do if it's robbed or the oven catches on fire. They call the government subsidized police and fire department. I realize that many conservatives think they are self made men who educated themselves, built their own roads, grew their own food, and never needed a community's help for anything, but these people are living a fantasy. Unless you are living in the wilderness in your hut, you need the community and government. Oh, and most wilderness is only wilderness still, because the big, bad government is protecting it. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Jimo 4 years, 4 months ago

Who sets the rules that allow the cupcake shop to be financed? Who protects it from mobs looting the place? Who set standards so the icing doesn't poison the customers? Who sets the regulatory structure so the place has electricity? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. These things do not spontaneously occur, nor can they exist (efficiently) absent gov't.

Just how ignorant can anyone be to think they'd survive for a day in a struggle of "all against all" absent gov't to protect and order their lives?

Eileen Jones 4 years, 4 months ago

It doesn't make sense to cut salaries of employees who are fully funded with grant money that comes from out of state, or from the federal government. This feels like another excuse to hurt the middle class, while the Republicans give more breaks to corporations.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

I guess you don't believe in job creation in this country. Why should corporations be punished when they are the ones creating the jobs, thus creating more wealth in this country? If you or anyone else here think that government has all the answers and that we should tax the snot out of corporations, God help us all.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Corporations are not paying the same amount of taxes because OBAMA wants to punish them for their successes!!!! OBAMA every year wants to increase the tax burden. That will not create jobs!!!

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

It's called government taking away opportunities from businesses to create jobs, thereby creating wealth. By doing this, government taxes more and overburdens the business community. The more intrusion by government, the less opportunities for businesses to grow. What say you now? If that is not answering your question(s), then what will? Government has all the answers to our problems? I THINK NOT!

oldvet 4 years, 4 months ago

Beware the man who says "I'm from the government and I'm here to help..."

parrothead8 4 years, 4 months ago

Because Kansans voted for a Republican to be in charge. If you're not rich or unborn, get used to being trampled on.

terp 4 years, 4 months ago

Kansas legislators are only part-time state workers. Most have other jobs to make ends meet. O'Neal is a practicing attorney. Remember when he and his firm sued the state last year, while still the Speaker of the House.

It may sounds noble that he is willing to cut his own pay, but we are talking about his part-time job. Most of us affected by this cut work for the state full-time and rely on this money to take care of our families.

irvan moore 4 years, 4 months ago

good for the democrats, when i was a kid the democrats were the working mans party, not the liberal party and the republicans were the rich mans party, not the conservative party. those were the good old days, ya knew where ya stood.

mass207 4 years, 4 months ago

I get SOO sick of hearing how we state workers are lazy and worthless. I bust my A** EVERY day I work because I have integrity and was raised RIGHT! I'm no better than the haters and YOU are NO better than ME!! I have a family just as YOU do that depends on me. How DARE you say I DESERVE to loose my job or get a PAY cut when I EARN every bit of my pay working for YOU, children and families. My job with the state PRODUCES money for the state, but who cares, right? I'm just some worthless, piece of state waste, right?

mass207 4 years, 4 months ago

"Nobody said that every single state worker was a waste" yet your whole comment was full of assumptions about me because I'm state worker. Point proven. I'm done. You all make me sick.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

Knology is in the private sector. It's employment decisions are not a public matter. Why should s/he be posting about it?

tomatogrower 4 years, 4 months ago

Yes, and if they could figure out how to do it, companies wouldn't hire anyone at all, so they can keep all the money for themselves. Of course, then their business would eventually fail, but in the short term, they are going to get rich. That's the thinking of many corporations lately. What kind of ethics are the teaching in business schools nowadays? It's the same kind of thinking that led those arrogant creeps in the KU ticket scams. Let's just steal, and have a great time. Never looking to the future. In fact, I'm real sure they have some of that money stashed off shore, and will go there as soon as legally possible.

booyalab 4 years, 4 months ago

You're not a piece of waste. But there's a good chance that your job is. I'm not going to lie. Btw, there is a difference.

Scruggsy 4 years, 4 months ago

For the love of God- it is lose (like to lose a game), versus loose (like my pants are too loose)...

mass207 4 years, 4 months ago

Well, please excuse my misspelling. I'm glad you found it necessary to comment on THAT and not my feeling of hatred from the general population............

Alceste 4 years, 4 months ago

Paul Davis is grandstanding.

He doesn't even understand the K.A.R. that dictate how state workers are paid nor does he understand the K.A.R. and K.S.A. that dictate longevity bonus'; nor does he really care. He'll pretend like he cares....but he don't. He's a "lawyer", too! Where was Paul Davis when Kansas Civil Service was KILLED.....and the merit pay increase aspect of being a civil servant was sent to the gallows? Where were his cohorts Francisco and Ballard? We know where Sloan was.....

This is Kansas. It's a Right to Get the Shaft state and that is all there is to it. I rather suspect more loss for the state paid working fool is on the horizon.

For giggles, here is a web site where you can see just how much your boss person is making....provided you is a state worker (you can also look up the pay of the person who is sitting right next to you, picking their nose and speaking with the family urchin whilst you actually work. Seeing the numbers makes one feel really special:

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

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"Where was Paul Davis when Kansas Civil Service was KILLED.....and the merit pay increase aspect of being a civil servant was sent to the gallows? Where were his cohorts Francisco and Ballard?"

They were in a rather powerless minority position. Maybe you should have provided them with some vote-enhancing mojo.

ResQd 4 years, 4 months ago

Amazing. I just went to this website, pulled down the menu and did a search on some of these agencies, and was in disbelief on what the salaries are. Yes, I think some of these employees making over 100k per year could definitely take a 7.5% pay cut. Leave the staff making under 40k alone.

Alceste 4 years, 4 months ago

I tried, Bozo. Truth be told, Davis wasn't even in the Legislature as I recall when the Merit Pay System was castrated. I could be wrong. Doesn't really matter: Kansas is what it is and is only becoming worse and more "Kansas" like relative to what the rest of the Nation, not to mention the World, thinks about Kansas.

What is sad is that Davis never sticks his neck out....nor does Francisco or Ballard....they're just in it for the ego enhancement me thinks. shrug

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

No, they don't tend to stick their necks out. But that's probably because they are in such a minority position it wouldn't do much but get them decapitated. But I think that they've still been effective at times. In the current situation, I'm not sure that they can continue to be as effective.

Jimo 4 years, 4 months ago

The real problem here isn't that someone is being asked to take a pay cut during a time when many employees have found themselves with lower pay. Rather, its the sense - probably accurate - that not everyone is being asked to sacrifice as well.

It's one thing to slash spending and increase taxes as "austerity."

It's quite another to slash spending while providing tax welfare for millionaires.

IronChefKS 4 years, 4 months ago

While this is certainly not true of most state offices, you could cut the staff of mine in half and never feel the difference. Punishing all state employees for government bloat is unfair, ridiculous and demoralizing. It's also a certain way to tank the economies of every university town in the state, not to mention Topeka. It will backfire in a million different ways and Kansas will pay the price for years to come.

That being said, administrators protect one another and grow their own ranks. They protect the jobs of their buddy system, even though many of those buddies might not have anything to do. Putting the punishment for the bloat on the backs of the day to day workers who do their jobs rather than eliminating the fluff positions is the exact kind of government mentality that got us into this mess in the first place.

Alceste 4 years, 4 months ago

Look up how much the person you know gets paid! All you need to know is their last name and which state agency employs them. It's fun! See how much that administrator who bosses you around is making, too! http://www.kansasopengov.org/StateGovernment/SGPayGrid/tabid/1553/Default.aspx

Wanna know who gets over $100k for their toils within Kansas "public service"? At your service!!!: http://www.kansasopengov.org/StateGovernment/SG100kEarners/tabid/1551/Default.aspx

Maybe it's a good thing to slash pay like this. Maybe it'll open the closed eyes of the many and provide a tremendous opportunity to, finally, secure a UNION for state workers. Don't mourn; ORGANIZE.....

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Ok, alright. I'm sorry if I offended everyone here. The state agency heads (making over $100K/year) need to be blamed, not the employees. How then do we punish overspending agency heads without hurting the employees? Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone here, it's just government has gotten worse and it needs to be scrutinized much more.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

All new state contracts (for construction, maintenance, roads, accounting, etc.) should have a statement that reads that the state can cut the monetary amount at any time and without notice or justification.

This statement is in the contracts that most state employees sign, which is how furloughs and pay reductions can happen.

To state contractors I would say, if you don't like the contract don't sign it. There are many contractors out there who would be willing to do the work under those conditions.

Sound familiar?

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

YWNM, do you see what's happened here? Your point is well taken, but government leaders REFUSE to open up to the public on issues like the one you raise. See the problem here, we (yes, we the voters who vote these bumbs into office) are taking a beating because the elected leaders won't LISTEN to our voice!

ralphralph 4 years, 4 months ago

We can't afford all the Government we seem to want.

We need to focus of the Government services we MUST have, and we need to cut those Government services we'd LIKE TO have.

Fund the core functions, fully and first.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Now, if it were only that simple to figure out the services we MUST have, versus what we would LIKE to keep.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Agreed, but you will get 2.5 million different ideas of what core functions are.

I happen to think safety, education and health are the most important core functions. I am sure many disagree with me and see core functions as stopping abortion and keeping illegals out.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Hey, YWNM, Health, Safety, and Education are right up there with what I know needs to be funded. As a moderate voter (who IS pro-choice), I find it very laughable that politicians find more time to regulate abortions and leave our children and our safety behind.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

For all new state contracts for construction and services rendered:

"The State of Kansas can, at any time and without justification, cut the amount of money for which it is liable for services rendered under this contract".

This would bring state contracts for services rendered in line with the contracts that most state employees sign.

And the state should cut all new state contracts by 7.5% automatically.

oldvet 4 years, 4 months ago

And since any state employee can walk away from his/her job at any time, be sure to add the wording:

"The contractor, upon being presented with a reduction in the contracted payments, has the right to cancel the contract immediately and stop delivery of goods or services without penalty."

Then the state can try to rebid the contract at a lower cost.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

No, I don't think it would be in the state's and Kansas peoples' best interests to add that. After all, we are talking about bids for jobs and not employment contracts.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 4 months ago

Bingo conservative

Among other marks future historians will not about the last 100 years will be when public servants began drawing extremely high salaries.

Government jobs were once prized for stability and perhaps a small retirement. Who makes more, a private industry snow plow operator, or a state employee doing the same job.

When did cops begin to make 80K a year? Asst. office managers 100K with state cars. Asst. principals 100k. All with benefits far far exceeding private business in most cases.

We can't afford it, plus it's wrong.

ResQd 4 years, 4 months ago

Wow, maybe the Asst. office manager will get PO'd and leave because of the 7.5% reduction, then I can apply for her job. :D

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

The political climate in our country and here in Kansas is for sure polarizing. Do I believe in legislatures that rubber-stamp the what President or Governor wants? Absolutely not. Do I believe in a Governor or President that continually uses their veto only to find out that they can be circumvented by the legislatures? Well, if Governors and Presidents can use that power to advocate for issues for US, sure. That's why we have checks and balances in this country. Here in Kansas, however, we had two choices: One candidate for Governor who is now our governor with a legislature rubber-stamping every issue that is addressed. The other candidate (Tom Holland) while a refreshing choice, he and the Legislature would be at gridlock all the time and at each other's throats. I know we can wish and it won't come true, but Gov. Parkinson brought the best of both worlds during these times. We need more leaders like him.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Kansas_state_government_salary

"According to 2008 Census data, the state of Kansas and local governments in the state employed a total of 241,713 people.[6] Of those employees, 172,212 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $584,592,296 per month and 69,501 were part-time employees paid $55,185,557 per month.[6] Nearly 60% of those employees, or 144,587 employees, were in education or higher education.[6]"

Using this data, the average wage for a full-time government worker, state and local, is $40,375. According to census data, that is almost exactly the median income in the state of Kansas for a single earner. 60% of these government workers work in education, and therefore are college graduates, while the average for the state is under 25%, so by the time you account for differential in education/training, government workers clearly are not better paid than comparably educated/trained workers in the private sector. As a matter of fact, they make significantly less.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Ok, Bozo! You're right. Census figures are accurate. Having said that, if the state employees (NOT counting the state agency executives that make over $100k/year) are earning less than comparably trained and educated workers in the private sector, how come federal employees are earning more? Why are we not outraged at the overbloated pay scale of the federal workforce, which by the way does NOT work efficiently, they don't get the job done, yet they earn ridiculously more money than state employees? What's up with that?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

From the analyses I've seen, the same situation holds true for federal workers-- they are generally much better educated than workers in the private sector. So when if the comparison is done a more apples-to-apples basis, private sector workers are better paid, and there isn't the relatively low ceiling that exists for federal govt. workers-- max salaries for them are in the low 6-figure range, while in the private sector, there are no limits. And while the president gets perks that no corporations can come close to matching his $400,000 salary is rather paltry for a CEO of his stature.

rhd99 4 years, 4 months ago

Yet, however, I saw a stat that was pretty pathetic, showing how a majority of members of our CONGRESS are earning more than $1 million/year PLUS their regular Congressional Salaries!

1957 4 years, 4 months ago

For all you state workers who are so outraged and feel so wronged why don't you quit whining, take your destiny in your own hands and find other jobs?

Scott Morgan 4 years, 4 months ago

Personally I am outraged counties around Washington D.C. have the highest per capita income in the U.S. When did this happen?

I'm for all to have the opportunity to make as much as possible. Including the fellow who takes my money for fuel, and the person making Papa Keno's pizza.

How about the poor ladies at the Watkins Museum? They work for free doing the same job as high paid state employees. In private business accountants would certainly be doing a cost analysis.

Bozo not looking for a fight but, did you add in free health care for state workers. How many have state cars to drive? Somebody at a time gave me the complete state worker benefit package. The leave package and comp time is beyond belief for instance. Travel expenses. Far better benefits than the average worker. Lot's of freebies not mentioned as well.

My point is when did this happen? When did government jobs become so lucrative? There is no shortage of folks who take tool both jobs for instance. Supply and demand.

Viva la job stability too. Well, until now.

1957 4 years, 4 months ago

"There is a strong desire among the extreme right wing of the Republican Party to get their pound of flesh from university and state employees," said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence.

This is demagoguery at the highest level. How tiresome.

always4ever 4 years, 4 months ago

Thank you to Anthony Hensley of Topeka and others for speaking up for us. Thank you for knowing what to say and how to say it. The proposal is absurd and makes us feel like we aren't respected or appreciated.

timetospeakup 4 years, 4 months ago

Here's a plan to save money: quit letting state employees retire, start collecting KPERS, then return to their old job as a "contractor" who earns more than before they retired! I work for the state, and I know guys who have "retired" only to come back as a part-time contractor and make over twice what they made as a full-time employee!

I work in a small agency and our two most senior managers are on this gravy train, stop this practice state-wide and you can probably give the rest of us a raise!

Scott Morgan 4 years, 4 months ago

timetospeakup.........sounds like a job which leads to a better job. Ummmmm? Is your job listed as employment leading to better things?

How many are in line to work it at a cheaper wage? I can care less how much a contractor makes, for they are not using my taxes.

Correct, and I think Bozo's stats on average wage are manipulated.

timetospeakup 4 years, 4 months ago

You're missing my point - these guys still work for the same agency. It's still your taxes - in fact, a larger amount of your taxes in contract pay, plus KPERS payments (effectively our taxes).

Before retirement - they drew one paycheck

post-retirement - they draw KPERS, and a (larger) paycheck as a "contractor" to the same exact agency. More than twice as much pay, in total, all drawn from the state budget.

Hoots 4 years, 4 months ago

On average government workers make about 30% more than those in the private sector doing the same job. Don't forget about all those benefits as well.

timetospeakup 4 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, but no. I have friends making about 80% more than me in the private sector.

I started after 1996 so KPERS isn't really that sweet of a deal anyway. The old-timers that got in before KPERS was restructured in 1996 (iirc, may be off a year or two) really do have it sweet, but newer hires really don't have it that good. My buddy that answers phones for Garmin has better benefits than me.

pace 4 years, 4 months ago

While at least the wealthiest aren't suffering, they got a tax cut. Follow the money, all the way from the family table to the corporate board.

Jan Rolls 4 years, 4 months ago

There is a budget shortfall. Why doesn't someone with guts inquire as to where all of the lottery money has been going for years? If you check you will see that the fat cats got fatter while our kids and others suffer. The rich get richer.

pace 4 years, 4 months ago

When they were debating the lottery, Education was considered and rejected . They decided the funds would be dedicated to economic development initiatives, (corporate adventures) up to 50 million,then the rest to the state legislature as general funds. If just a portion went to special needs they would not "have" to close KNI. The truth there is most of the KNI residents should not be move to community group homes, too extreme need and , well it will kill many. http://www.kslottery.com/WhereTheMoneyGoes/WhereTheMoneyGoes.htm

Scott Morgan 4 years, 4 months ago

Kansas can use all the private business they can bring in, and more. Government contractors included. What they do not need is this.

States like California are faced with paying unionized state workers unbelievable retirement benefits. Fifty year old perfect health men and women are retiring on 80 percent salary. Alarms sounded years ago by conservatives went unheeded.

California is a prime example.

Local cops making 125 K and more a year, firepeople working every other week making a 100K. Section 8 housing residents get credit cards. Custodians making 70K. A perfect world. Add on anything goes on illegal immigration and the costs. Everybody has everything. Nope, no tamale.

Now accountants from many more states like California are looking at a mountain of IOUs Californians can not pay for.

No, I firmly believe Kansas needs to stop and take a good look at state employment pay and benefits. If it was proved Kansas was underpaying employees, well this would be another story. State and a growing number of local employees ride the gravy train. Not heard a word about being underpaid in all the above posts have we?

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 4 months ago

Here's a report that indicates some of Kansas's employees are being paid less than market value.

http://www.da.ks.gov/newpayplans/haysurveyresults.pdf

jesse499 4 years, 4 months ago

I notice that its always the workers who are making to much and have to have there pay cut but Brownback who is still getting a lifetime pay on our backs and free healthcare from his time in Washington not to mention the under the table i'm sure went on is not going to take a pay cut and now I'm sure he's going to double dip in Kansas Retirement. Not to mention the unreal retirement plan for the big shots in Topeka there not taking a pay cut. Maybe its all of these perks that we're paying for our cough,cough leaders that are costing us so much maybe thats where the cut should come from.

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 4 months ago

Nonsense. Former members of Congress do not draw lifetime full salaries or free healthcare. These urban legends do nothing to further civil discourse, and only serve to further incite animosity among those unable or unwilling to research long enough to find the truth. http://www.snopes.com/politics/socialsecurity/pensions.asp

Also, if Gov. Brownback had worked for Kinedyne for 8 years and vested in their retirement plan, then went to Prosoco and vested in theirs, no one would accuse him of double-dipping.

And if you're going to accuse the Governor of accepting under-the-table bribes, grafts, or whatever you're implying, you really ought to offer up some evidence that he did so. If you don't have evidence, don't make unfounded accusations.

pace 4 years, 4 months ago

My theory is the Koch brothers have decided to groom Brownback for the whitehouse. I don't think Brownback takes sums in cash, I think the Koch brothers want to change America one bogus ad campaign at a time. They will line the highways to Washington for Brownback and for many others with black gold. They won't change their stand on global warming until the last drum of oil is sold.

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 4 months ago

Actually, pace, that would be a "hypothesis," not a theory. I agree there is substantial evidence that Gov. Brownback has Presidential aspirations. The rest of your post is pure conjecture.

pace 4 years, 4 months ago

lol, I conjecture that Koch brothers are behind millions of dollars of issue ads. lol My guess is I am right and you aren't.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 4 months ago

Wasn't it in the mid 90s or maybe earlier folks on both sides tried to pull back benefits from our elected public servants? Geez, that worked well didn't it.

Fossick 4 years, 4 months ago

This article might as well have stopped after "Kansas Democrats blast Republican plan"

Because that's what Democrats to with Republican plans. And that's what Republicans do with Democratic plans.

That doesn't make it news.

Dinghy 4 years, 1 month ago

I would like to know why it should be just certain employee's that get taxed extra. State employee's making over $40,000 wasn't the one's that caused the problem. It SHOULD BE EVERYONE'S responsibility to fix. IF you're going to tax a certain class of people that is DISCRIMINATION in the worst way. If you want to raise state tax, then do it across the board. EVERYONE IN THE STATE. They say the legislature's job's shouldn't be included in the higher tax because their jobs are important and we need them. Well, what about the teachers, computer support staff, secretary's, etc...How well would the state run if then just didn't work for even just 1 week? Come on. What's fair for one is fair for ALL!!!

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