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Archive for Friday, June 17, 2011

Brownback administration lays off 85 Kansas Dept. of Labor employees

Dept. of Labor says layoffs are ‘fiscal necessity’

June 17, 2011

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Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration on Friday laid off 85 state employees at the Kansas Department of Labor.

A statement released by KDOL states: “Fiscal necessity requires that KDOL make the very difficult decision to reduce its workforce. Decisions by the prior administration to utilize one-time funds for ongoing personnel and administrative costs and reduced funding from the federal government have contributed to the need for this decision.”

With the layoffs, the agency, which among other jobs administers unemployment compensation, would have about 430 employees, said KDOL spokesman Matt Manda.

Sherriene Jones-Sontag, a spokeswoman for Brownback, said state employee layoffs also were the result of Cabinet secretaries working on efficiencies, and responding to budget cuts.

“Secretaries have been looking, for five months, at how agencies are structured, to make agencies more efficient and responsive, and now they are beginning to implement those plans,” she said.

KDOL is led by Secretary Karin Brownlee, a Republican appointed by Brownback who took office in January.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said he was not convinced that layoffs were necessary.

“For a governor that is advocating the creation of jobs, to me it seems contrary to that goal is to be laying off people,” Hensley said. “Previous administrations have been successful in preventing layoffs.”

During the just completed legislative session, Brownlee had sought legislation that would have made all employees at the Labor Department unclassified workers who would serve at the pleasure of the secretary and not have Civil Service protections. Legislators, however, didn’t approve the measure.

Since Brownback took office in January, there has also been a large number of terminations at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, although many of those employees have been replaced with new hires. SRS has declined repeated requests to say how many have been laid off and how many have been hired.

Comments

DrRobert 2 years, 10 months ago

Come on - what did you expect ? A whole political party dedicated to lifelong selfishness and greed, implemented at every opportunity.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 10 months ago

No cuts no cuts they all scream! Democrats continue to kick the fiscal can down the yellow brick road while the all powerful wizard gives them handouts. Now the wizard is bankrupt and the Democrat solution defaults back to punishing achievement "the rich" through confiscatory tax policy. How sad!

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Roland Gunslinger 2 years, 10 months ago

Someone's projecting their self hatred...

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thuja 2 years, 10 months ago

Hey everyone, Liberty One wants us to care about their opinion.

(Again)

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Liberty_One 2 years, 10 months ago

In my opinion if I worked at the TSA I would become an alcoholic. I don't know how those people live with themselves.

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Liberty_One 2 years, 10 months ago

In my opinion the problem with government employees is that they do too much work. I would be happier if they just collected a paycheck and did not do their jobs at all since most of their jobs involve violating our rights in some way or another and destroying wealth.

Also, why does it seem that most government workers are overweight?

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Alceste 2 years, 10 months ago

I concur, Jimo.

I will state, however, that many of these people being removed from their employment did the same thing to a lot of past employees whose only crime was to question authority. Too, within this department of labor shakedown, I will bet money that the bulk of the jobs in question were known by the person sitting in them to be limited term jobs....meaning when the person took the job, they were told it was finite; probably had to be re-newed every year or every other year or some such. Too, some may very well have been unclassified.

Evidently, within the Dept. of Labor, there seems to have been a LOT of going to the bathroom if one is look behind (pardon the pun) why new rules have been written and implemented. See: http://www.kdol.net/news/discussion/20/restroom-breaks-require-permission-from-supervisor-at-kansas-dept.-of-labor which is an internet web site put up by certain staff within the Dept. of Labor. That particular thread is entitled: "Restroom breaks require permission from supervisor at Kansas Dept. of Labor".

Too, within the KDOL, the powers that be have blocked tha ability of DOL staff to access the web site http://www.kdol.net

It's really sorta darkly funny because, again, what did people expect when Brownback came into office? This stuff is almost better than Bedtime for Bonzo given Brownback's peculiar ways what with "C Street" and the way he rolls, period. Ever have occassion to interact with "his office" whilst he was a sitting U.S. Senator? I had....several. Most unctuous. Slime everywhere.....and yet the people of Kansas made him their U.S. Senator and then made him their governor. shrug

The fact Brownback's proxy wanted to make all jobs "unclassified" speaks for itself. Ok, she didn't get her way. Fine....there's always a backdoor for the hack to weasel their way into. Always. If not today....then tomorrow....

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Alceste 2 years, 10 months ago

Well, let's not be sexist about this, Jimo. Maybe it's more like falling into a bottomless, endless.....ummmmm......well......you get the picture.....

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Jimo 2 years, 10 months ago

Of course it hurts. You're getting screwed by an elephant with a limitless supply of corporation paid for Viagra.

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Barry Watts 2 years, 10 months ago

Grow up! All this name calling sounds like something you'd hear in junior high. Open debate is wonderful, but you are sounding like idiots.

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Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

"Any evidence that they are? Most in civil service are lazy hangers on with no ambition and no reason to do anything but the bare minimum required to keep our tax dollars deposited in their bank accounts every other week. Go register your car or renew your license and see how motivated those people are to serve you quickly and efficiently.

SRS is a special case of power-corrupted lazy bureaucrats that would as soon wreck a home as put their feet on the floor in the morning. SRS employees are just about the worst civil servants around."

Liberty275, your comments have no basis. Visit an SRS office sometime. They are incredibly busy, yet maintain courtesy to all even late in the day. The same is true with DOL. If there is a lazy state employee, there would be a counterpart in the private sector. Wouldn't it make more sense to assess the work that needs to be done?

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Stain 2 years, 10 months ago

He's going to destroy Kansas for his presidential ambitions. He's currying favor with the Tea Party Koch Brothers crowd.

This could backfire. By 2016 America will have seen what the Republicans had in store, and it wasn't creating jobs, which they ran on in 2010.

How many jobs has Brownback created?

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kusadgirl 2 years, 10 months ago

Brownback isn't messing around.

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63BC 2 years, 10 months ago

AP offered this fact in their story:

"The Department of Labor's budget is due to drop 37 percent from $1.15 billion to $782 million. The decline largely refelcts a reduction in federal funds."

Given that federal funds are dropping almost forty percent and these layoff represent fewer than twenty percent of the workforce at KDOL, this seems pretty reasonable, even necessary.

No amount of ranting will change budgetary facts.

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ashford 2 years, 10 months ago

I will bet the people laid off are lower level employees. The funny thing about lay off is that the people laid off are actually the ones doing the real job and getting their hands dirty. They don't lay off those big earners whose salary is that of four employees laid off or more. Those big earners probably don’t do much for the organization but as golf buddies for the decision makers. Bad leadership solution to a problem is always to lay off poor low earners at the bottom, but they leave those ones whose salaries are really bigger cost for the organization. Again, they don't want to lose their golf buddy while the organization suffers financially.

This is consistent with republicans' principle of governing and management. If you are poor working class, you don't matter, but they forget that productivity and wealth is based on pyramid structure. Large number of low wage earners and real workers at the bottom are the ones holding and keeping one leader at the peak there. The leader's livelihood and success depend on those at the bottom. The eventually run the organization to the ground based on this impractical principle. Republican are hypocrites, they believe in taking from the poor and give them to the rich. They are ambidextrous; the use one have to stop the poor from getting any help or I may say, hand out but they take their other hand to take hand outs from the government or from wherever they can get it. They believe in freedom and prosperity, but what they meant is to do what ever they want without accountability, and proper with it at poor people expense.

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verity 2 years, 10 months ago

I haven't seen any new logo. I want to see the new logo.

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Alceste 2 years, 10 months ago

Mixolydian:

The SRS people replacements were already announced. http://www2.ljworld.com/documents/2011/may/27/srs-news-release/ and the names are all here: http://media.lawrence.com/news/documents/2011/05/27/SRS_News_Release.rtf

Look at the last paragraph.

Go here: http://www.srs.ks.gov/agency/Pages/KeyStaff.aspx

No "new" jobs....save for the faith based silliness.

What did everyone think was going to happen when this duffus Robert Siedlecki from Florida was brought to Kansas?

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kernal 2 years, 10 months ago

ksfbcoach, that joke is still funny after all these years, no matter which party you belong to.

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Mixolydian 2 years, 10 months ago

The article does need more investigation. It reads like the positions (or many of them) were either federal grant or stimulus funded positions and not SGF funded. Once the federal funds dried up the option was to find money to keep these employees, (which in this economy and state budget is difficult at best, other places would need cut) or dismiss them. . 1. How mant positions fell into this category? 2. How many positions were classified service lay offs? 3. How many positions were unclassified service terminations? 4. Many of the SRS terminations recently were for no other reason than political patronage (happens with every new administration, nothing new, suprising or shocking there) How many of these positions fell into that category and will have political appointment replacements?

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Alceste 2 years, 10 months ago

ksfbcoach: Did you follow up on her conceptualization and go offer the homeless guy $50 to do your chores?

Or, like most Right Wingers, do you simply opine in writing about such affairs; arm chair quarterback (and generaling); and then do nothing?

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Timothy Eugene 2 years, 10 months ago

I recently asked my neighbors' little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, 'If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?' She replied, 'I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people.'

'Wow...what a worthy goal.' I told her, 'But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that! You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.'

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, ' Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?'

I said, 'Welcome to the Republican Party.'

Her parents still aren't speaking to me.

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Jimo 2 years, 10 months ago

"Secretaries have been looking, for five months, at how agencies are structured, to make agencies more efficient and responsive, and now they are beginning to implement those plans."

Translation:

Now that the labor department will be permanently understaffed, corporations will now be free to prey on the carcass of the people without fear of government interference in their looting.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 10 months ago

"Decisions by the prior administration to utilize one-time funds for ongoing personnel and administrative costs and reduced funding from the federal government have contributed to the need for this decision.”

That says it all. "Prior (Democratic) administrration"......Yet another stab at destroying Obama, the opposing party, sensibility, need, and the realization that the incompetance of the CURRENT administration is doing nothing to affect the shortage of paying jobs in Kansas but preaching, praying and posturing in an imaginary religious fog for the fawning voters who elected this swine.

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verity 2 years, 10 months ago

LJW reporters---take note. We would like to see some in depth reporting as suggested in some of the comments above.

Just a few examples:

Is money really being saved?

Are the people being laid off from a certain political party?

Which positions are being refilled and by whom and at what salaries?

What will be the effects of these layoffs in terms of work getting done? (I don't imagine all of the layoffs were just sitting around picking their noses.)

How many jobs/duties are being privatized and will this cost the same, less or more than it is now?

How many people have been hired from out of state and were there qualified people in the state for the jobs? What is the relationship of the out-of-state hires to Gov Brownback?

How are so-called faith-based organizations being used by the state government?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Brownback brought back from Washington D.C. the privatization of government which of course comes with CEO's ,Golden Parachutes and shareholders.

More neoconservative reckless spending of tax dollars is what Brownback brought back from Washington D.C. Privatization does not mean less tax dollar spending or no more tax dollar spending. It's more like taking Kansas tax dollars away from Kansans then giving Kansas tax dollars to private corporations.

There has never been hard evidence presented that this would in fact save taxpayers money. It's all an illusion offered up by corporate america.

The most famous source of fraud happens to be private corp america. Brownback of course will looking to these corporations for political campaign money. That is his only agenda as a neocon poltician.

Brownback did not bring with any special skills. Moving Kansas government to private USA corporations is neither new industry,new jobs nor new economic growth. It's more like taking Kansas tax dollars away from Kansans then giving Kansas tax dollars to private corporations.

More neoconservative reckless spending of tax dollars is what Brownback brought back from Washington D.C. Privatization does not mean less tax dollar spending or no more tax dollar spending. It's more like taking Kansas tax dollars away from Kansans then giving Kansas tax dollars to private corporations.

Where are these tax dollars going? Why isn't the press following this closely and keeping taxpayers advised?

Why not recall Sam Brownback?

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deec 2 years, 10 months ago

If the people who actually work in Topeka are to be believed, and I'm inclined to think they would have a better idea about the inside machinations going on, then the layoffs will actually cost more money. A no-bid contract was given to IT21 solutions for IT services at DOL. At least some of the SRS positions are being advertised as 3 year contract positions at $35-$55/hour. But I guess since they are "private" jobs at double the cost given to cronies, that's okay. www.kdol.net

>
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solsken66 2 years, 10 months ago

Has Brownback had his State of Kansas wages reduced? Probably not because the top government/legislators make sure to protect themselves and their staff.

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Getaroom 2 years, 10 months ago

Ok zippy sing along now, "happy trials to you..."

The headlines about this governor from now forward and until Brownbackward's term is over should read, "Republican Presidential hopeful Brown....". So long as the burden of the countries failing economy rests squarely on the shoulders of the middle class, all is well in this dictator governors kingdom of serfs. But then we can all take solace in knowing our golden parachute to a bright economic future, "the wetlands highway", finally got crammed down out throats. And the Christian Crusader marches on.

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solsken66 2 years, 10 months ago

Brownback must have owed favors to alot of people in other states. He is doing a fantastic job of hiring Kansans, not! Then give special tax breaks to out of state people to relocate here in areas that have experienced population decreases. Why did he not consider getting Kansans to relocate? There are Kansans who have moved away from places with low employment to seek employment elsewhere, but surely there are some who wished to move back.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Leave it to Sam Brownback and his republican sheep to reduce economic growth with machine gun rapidity.

Fire Sam Brownback = new economic growth.

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solsken66 2 years, 10 months ago

The education system goes down the drain....good to dummy down people so they are not able to think for themselves. Easier to dupe them...

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solsken66 2 years, 10 months ago

Government is supposed to be transparent, so why is SRS not responding to a request? Maybe the LJW should do an oversight on all agencies to see how many personnel have been laid off, how many positions replaced, and salaries of new hires versus those personnel replaced. It would probably be enlighting.

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solsken66 2 years, 10 months ago

There are layoffs, but then the governor/state of kansas hires some replacements at higher wages...so where is the savings. The positions that are replaced are at the top of the pay scale. There are have been hires who do not have the expertise for the position for which they were hired. Funny how some agencies have directors overseeing directors or only supervising two people. Maybe consolidation should be considered at the director/manager level. The legislators need to look at the increase of wages for incoming personnel. Are some personnel at the top still working only four hours a day, but being paid for eight hours?

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zippy53 2 years, 10 months ago

Ok, sing it with me libs:

"Oh, the world owes me a living!"

Everybody, now! Sing!

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lunatic 2 years, 10 months ago

Do any of you complainers actually own a business or are self employed? Just curious because I doubt it.

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OldSoldier 2 years, 10 months ago

How about digging into the new hires at SRS? Compare their new salaries with those who they replaced? Betcha the new hires are costing the tax payers MORE than the people they replaced. The new hires all came from out of state.

Also, there is a tremendous knowledge vacuum at SRS with the middle management staff having been purged. Try looking at the idiotic decision to cut all contracts and grants by 3%. Many contracts and grants are 100% federally funded, so Kansans are turning federal dollars back to the feds. DUH! When questioned internally about this decision, one upper management new hire said, "There are 100% federally-funded contracts and grants?"

Cronyism costs a lot of money.

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sunny 2 years, 10 months ago

YEAH! Keep hacking away Brownback! Too bad Obama doesn't follow in Browns footsteps!

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tange 2 years, 10 months ago

And, so, the rolling Brown-outs continue.

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ridinthefence 2 years, 10 months ago

Slimeback, is that what he got out of his prayer meeting? Probably paving the way for new positions at 100 K+ year! Lovely

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woodscolt 2 years, 10 months ago

You gotta love people who complain about not enough jobs on one forum lauding the losing of jobs on this one. The train wreck continues

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mloburgio 2 years, 10 months ago

The state has a major problem and it's name is pious sam brownback. just wait till next year they will place a cross on the capital and you'll need to be a christian conservative to enter.

"Of course it hurts, you're getting screwed by an elephant!"

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woodscolt 2 years, 10 months ago

Creating jobs for kansans. Now do you believe in slimeback. I guess the "i told you so's" may be inserted here. Wonder how many of those 80 people voted for slimeback.

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love2fish_ks 2 years, 10 months ago

This 20% or 1 in 5 reduction in force for DoL makes sense. Synergies have been gained over the years through process improvement and computer automation of manual processes. There is no life time employment. The state can do just fine without them.

KDOT is fat and needs 40 - 50% reduction in the computer and tech services headcount. The state needs to consolidate their IT infrastructure into one organization.

The state has a major problem ahead with fixed cost in Prisons and Medicade. Education has made a small contribution (51% of the 2012 state budget) and the other organizations need to contribute more than 20% or education will be hit harder.

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Liberty275 2 years, 10 months ago

Did you ever notice how loud pigs squeal when you shoo them away from the trough?

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Floyd Craig 2 years, 10 months ago

dam did hitler get voted in gees so many high payng jobs for the govenors friends now bet they love him to peices now sound slike the ku athletic office high payibng jobs for butt kissers

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randy1956 2 years, 10 months ago

Yeah my wife got laid off at the state, been there about 10 years . Now unemployement and no health insurance. Way to go Brownback. Thats the way to create new jobs.

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Doppleganger 2 years, 10 months ago

Brownbacks version of Obama's "Fast and Furious". But on the good side of Brownback's "Fast and Furious". No Americans have been killed by cartel gangsters.

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kernal 2 years, 10 months ago

Now that we know some of the SRS employees who were terminated have been replaced, will some of the people laid off from KDOL also be replaced?

Hope someone is watching to see if the replacements are from out of state.

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deec 2 years, 10 months ago

"Since Brownback took office in January, there has also been a large number of terminations at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, although many of those employees have been replaced with new hires. SRS has declined repeated requests to say how many have been laid off and how many have been hired." This seems like an investigative report waiting to happen, complete with a FOIA request if needed. Surely the number of employees in a state dept. would be a matter of public record?

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SnakePlisskin 2 years, 10 months ago

Think of all the tax money that could have been saved had they not been hired. Make work is not the way to run a useful operation.

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1983Hawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Gutless punk. Drop your bomb on the livelihood of 85 families at 4:59pm on a Friday so as to minimize press reaction. And its not like a lot of em won't end up being replaced with partisan hacks and Hitler youth brought in here straight from the right-wing think tanks.

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ShePrecedes 2 years, 10 months ago

This is such a wrong act. Time to give your boss some competition at the local level. Go to work for yourself. P off all the horrible bosses out there but cutting into their local profits. They don't want to give you health care insurance. They don't want you to have labor negotiating rights. Fire them, fir the bosses and then compete against them. These people get tax breaks. You think that is nice?

Firing your bosses and competing against them will do more for the local economy like nothing else!

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 10 months ago

he is really going to hurt the state in a way that will probably take decades to recover.

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lalalala 2 years, 10 months ago

Don't steal...the government hates competition.

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BigPrune 2 years, 10 months ago

I guess things like this are not supposed to happen since these were government jobs and government paychecks come from the taxpayer's hard earned dollars. Job layoffs are only supposed to happen in the private sector.

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nonracist 2 years, 10 months ago

Not one single person fired was a "Christian Republican" voter.

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deec 2 years, 10 months ago

Hypothetically speaking, if the majority of the SRS and Labor employees(as well as perhaps any others we don't yet know about) who've been fired happen to belong to one political party, would this be legal?

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Number_1_Grandma 2 years, 10 months ago

I just wish we could use the same criteria for Brownback that we do for president Obama.....

Where's the job creation Mr. Governor? Is this the "change" Kansan's really wanted? Brownback a "christian".....couldn't tell it!

Kansas....As stupid as we vote!!

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SnakePlisskin 2 years, 10 months ago

If they don't need them now why did they hire them in the first place.

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mloburgio 2 years, 10 months ago

i can at least say i did not or ever would vote for pious sam brownback.

new bumper sticker i saw today. "of course it hurts, you're getting screwed by an elephant"

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nugget 2 years, 10 months ago

Yea, he'll balance this budget alright, on the backs of now unemployed Kansans. Can't wait for the job numbers to come out as his grade card. Guess with all those illegal aliens Kobach wants to keep out those folks can all go out and work the fields by hands in western Kansans and replace them. That's the spirit, Gov! Keep that corporate welfare flowing to the oil and gas companies though. They're LOVING it.

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sr80 2 years, 10 months ago

Now i have 85 more people to compete with for that job at McDonalds !!! Thanks alot Brownie !!

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verity 2 years, 10 months ago

I was going to say 85 more people that we will be paying unemployment to, but upon reading further, I realize these are the people who administer unemployment benefits---so who will be there to process the applications?

Let'em eat cake!

(Just when I think I can't despise Brownback and his dictatorial, crush the middle class into proverty ways anymore, I find that I can.)

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lalalala 2 years, 10 months ago

Good move Gov. Great reporting too.

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irvan moore 2 years, 10 months ago

wow, unemployment in kansas on the rise

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truman1902 2 years, 10 months ago

If it's past 5PM on Friday, then it's Pink slips for Kansans!!! Labor kicking labor out the door! Clearly the kind of middle class employees that we can't tolerate in Topeka, Wichita or anywhere else ..The word SHAME doesn't even come close to decribing this debacle..

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Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 10 months ago

And yet last month there are over 20 new $100,000/year jobs available for new hires at SRS.

I'm sure the same has happened at Labor. Il Marrone just loves to fire as many "state employees" as he can all while handing out more high paying administrative jobs than ever before.

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