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Archive for Monday, March 21, 2011

Statehouse Live: House Appropriations advances state employee pay cut; exempts support staff

March 21, 2011, 1:44 p.m. Updated March 22, 2011, 8:41 a.m.

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Kansas state Reps. Clark Shultz, left, a Lindsborg Republican, and Doug Gatewood, right, a Columbus Democrat, confer during a House Appropriations Committee meeting, Monday, March 21, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka.

Kansas state Reps. Clark Shultz, left, a Lindsborg Republican, and Doug Gatewood, right, a Columbus Democrat, confer during a House Appropriations Committee meeting, Monday, March 21, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka.

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— The House budget-writing committee on Tuesday approved cutting state employees’ pay by $19 million, but exempted legislative staff.

Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, made the motion to remove the legislators’ support staff from the proposed pay cut.

“That is the least we can do to show our support,” Schwartz said. “I don’t see how we can carry on our work without these people,” she said.

Rep. Pete DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, said it was “inappropriate” to exempt the legislative staff from the pay cut.

Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, noted that the departments that support the Legislature, such as the Legislative Research Department, Revisor of Statutes, and Division of Post Audit, were receiving increases in funding.

“We are adding money for our people, but we are asking others to take some cuts,” Peck said.

But other Republicans said those increases were justified. For example, part of the increase for the Legislature Research Department is to pay for more staff to help legislators with redistricting next year.

Democrats joined Schwartz, although Rep. Bill Feuerborn of Garnett said, “We have lots of other workers in state positions. It’s not correct to just pick out certain workers.”

The House Appropriations Committee approved Schwartz’s motion.

The committee then approved the overall budget bill on a 12-10 vote, which advances the measure to the full House.

Democrats criticized the overall appropriations bill saying it hurt public schools, state employees and social services. The House plan cuts state base aid to public schools by $232 per student.

“If we made a list of all the cuts, the column would be pretty long and the pain would be extensive,” said Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence.

Several conservative Republicans said the proposal spent too much. But a majority on the committee said the bill was the best balance they could strike in tough times. The state is facing an estimated $500 million revenue shortfall in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Under the proposal to cut state employees’ pay, legislators, justices and judges, statewide elected officials and statutory agency heads would face a 7.5 percent cut. In addition, all other state employees making more than $100,000 would be cut 7.5 percent.

Those making between $40,000 and $100,000 would be cut on a sliding scale. Employees earning below $40,000 would not be cut.

The bill will be considered by the full House next week.

Comments

Dsubman 3 years ago

It is clear that a lot folks, including our very own Governor, has no clue what State Employees do. A word of advice from a former Navy Submariner: meet the crew Brownback.

You cannot put the blame for our fiscal mess on the backs of the workers in the State and Federal sector-they made a decision early in their careers to trade higher salaries and career advancement for stability. This meant lower wages and a pigeon hole system with no real hope for meaningful career advancement. You sure didn't hear the private sector employees crying about how much the public sector employees were making before the economy went bust. I can asure you it was and still is far less the what you may think. Salaries for State employees are no secret...you can look them up online.

You can moan all you want about those in the public sector, but there are plenty of those that are scientists, professional geologists, professional engineers, certified or registered medical technologists most of which are engaged in enforcing State or Federal regulations. If you don't want clean air, clean water, or control of the use radioactive material/devices, then push for the repeal of the statutes and laws that made those employees necessary in the first place and turn the job over to the Federal Government. The regulations will be enforced one way or another. I might add that many State technical positions require a minimum of a B.S. degree. Hard to become a licensed Engineer or Professional Geologist without one.

I sure do not recall seeing private sector folks jumping in line to get these jobs when the economy was good. Universities generally discourage engineers and scientists from going State of Federal because it is effectively a career dead end relative to the private sector. A lot of the folks that work in the regulatory/environmental arena would do their job for free if they didn't have to eat or feed their families (most over the past couple of years have come to the realization that eating is over rated anyway). This is most certainly evident in the way we treat our public school teachers-it must be a Republican thing expecting folks to teach our kids for free...

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true_patriot 3 years ago

“That is the least we can do to show our support,” Schwartz said. “I don’t see how we can carry on our work without these people,” she said.

When I first saw the headline about exempting "support staff" I naively thought they'd had second thoughts about gouging the low to middle income Kansans that work hard to make our state run with their low incomes, understaffing and decline of real wages the past few years.

But then I read this lead above and realized how ridiculous that was to assume ethics and responsibility on the part of the current legislature and administration. Corruption and irresponsibility rule the day.

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yankeevet 3 years ago

I tried working; and by the time they took taxes out; and the other stuff; i had barely enough to live on.....I got what little clothes i had from the second hand store; did not matter if they fit; but they were afforable and i did not need much; and i was quite sure my college education was worth it all. Now I live on the street; and make much more money then working; and its tax free; i even bought a new tin cup last week. Hope u walk by me; and donate; i might whislte dixie for you.

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Carol Bowen 3 years ago

Government employees at all levels are being criticized. The jobs they do are probably important. How would we know? If the tax money does not pay for state employees, it will pay for contractors who need to make a profit. Instead of tearing apart government employees, we should be analyzing the services they provide.

On the other hand, representatives like Sharon Schwartz need first-hand experience with loss of services. That's an expensive way to go. It would cost a bit to restore the lost but needed services. Overall, this is a pretty clumsy budget approach. Our legislature should spend less time on silly legislation and more time analyzing the budget.

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beatrice 3 years ago

I wonder if state employees and anyone else who sees this as blatant hypocrisy will remember this come next election? I doubt it.

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voevoda 3 years ago

If state employees can afford to take a pay cut, then Kansans earning more than $250,000 per year can afford to shoulder a similar tax increase.
If the state faces such a crisis that it can't afford to cover its payroll and maintain basic services, then it's time for well-to-do Kansans to step up to the plate and do more. The state needs money; they have the disposable income. Throughout this whole crisis, they haven't suffered one bit. They won't even miss the extra money. But for ordinary wage-earners in the public and private sector, even a small pay cut can have devastating effects on their household budget.
Money in the hands of modest-income households goes immediately into the local economy. It helps to sustain jobs and improve the local economy.
Money in the hands of mega-rich households goes disproportionally out of state. It doesn't help Kansas.
So in whose hands should the State of Kansas try to keep money?

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liar 3 years ago

Call it what it is please. A tax increase for state workers. Good old Republicans. They can always be relied upon to contradict their own beliefs e.g. cut taxes. Oh sure, they cut taxes to business (their paymasters). As for the working man and woman, who gives a toss. They deserve to struggle and see their standard of living fall year after year. Who voted for these clowns?

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Sparko 3 years ago

Well, this is a tax increase for state workers. The other tax increases will be passed to the middle class as well. It is funny how republicans run on "tax cuts." They have left a devastated middle class and economy in their wake across the country. It is just staggering. Sadly, they have a lot of sock puppets here. Kansas needs to wake up and vote these idiots out.

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naturalist 3 years ago

  1. At this point it's only a proposal from the same near-sighted committee that wanted to cut out the Kansas Arts Commission. 2.Why not propose furloughs rather than pay cuts? It would keep the base salaries, which haven't received raises in a couple of years, where they are. And to those who think state employees are paid too much, fact is most are paid less than equivalents in private sector. They just might receive better benefits, however.
  2. Why can't some of the shortfall come from corporations who have been given huge tax breaks while reaping big profits?
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olddognewtrix 3 years ago

One wonders if Speaker Oneal's wife who has a cushy state job falls into the categorey of"support staff"

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bopro 3 years ago

So Sharon do you think your Legilative staff can put on some old cloths come out of the office and do the jobs needed to keep the State running on the ground. All those little jobs that require men and women to get dirty with very little thanks other than a small pay check. Do they not desirve the same consideration .

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newmath 3 years ago

use the archive.org to look at the old purchasing web site for the state. www.da.state.ks.us. You will see contract 06361 and attached to it is a spreadsheet with the rates for tons of contractors/consultant services that the state had. Many of these are over $100 an hour, some over $300 an hour. How the heck can the state say that state employees are overpaid, it obviously is contractors/consultants doing work for the state that are overpaid and wasting HUGE tax dollars. Hire cheap staff, not outrageously expensive consultants. I had to use the archive.org because the new contracts don't list the rates, got to wonder why

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lawrenceguy40 3 years ago

Anyone who lives off of the taxes of others should face an immediate reduction in their mooch money. I'd like to see a much bigger cut than 7.5%. Everyone knows that state workers only do a fraction of the work that their real world counterparts do - they should only earn a fraction of the salary. They will have a choice - continue mooching or get a real job with real salary. I see no shortage of moochers wanting jobs at KU.

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love2fish_ks 3 years ago

Why isn't Barbara Ballard showing any leadership and making suggestions. She has the entire resources of KU at her disposal to come up with a solid plan. Instead,she sits on he sidelines and snipes at both sides. She has a PHD. So disappointing.

This is the time to show leadership. IF she would step forward at this time she would stand a good chance to knock off Bronnieback at the next election.

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irvan moore 3 years ago

anyone who voted for this is a member of the grinch family, it's just plain mean spirited, lots of other places to make cuts, vote 'em out!

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yankeevet 3 years ago

Whew!! that leave us out.......................sometimes it pays to make less..........

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bobberboy 3 years ago

don't cut anyones salaries just raise taxes on the rich and stop giving free lunches to businesses, If no one gave free lunches to bussinesses then they would have no other recourse but to go live in a third world country and they would'nt want to do that because they basically want to have their cake and eat it too.

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rgh 3 years ago

Those who voted in favor of not cutting legislative staff are hypocrites and need to be out! If you cut one state employee then cut them all. Legislators should start by taking a huge cut themselves not some piddly amount to make it look good to the public.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years ago

Now the local school district needs to make the same kind of cuts. Start lowering the mill levy or this town will continue to be in the real estate slump.

None of the city commission candidates discuss how hard it is for loans to be made locally. None of the school board candidates talk about lowering the mill levy

The state needs to cut spending because it has no more income.

The representatives need to take a pay cut as well and have less meetings in Topeka. Better yet, they can stay home and do nothing, we would not be any worse off.

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Floyd Craig 3 years ago

yeah thier own staff wont get cut see one sided and they alreay make big bucks why dont they cut thier pat as well hummmmmmmmmmm must be good at kissing you know what

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irvan moore 3 years ago

state workers who make 40K plus and voted republican gotta feel really stupid about now.

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deskboy04 3 years ago

Why exempt the support staff? Because they are important! The rest of the state employees are unimportant? This makes no sense.

Legislators aren't willing to share in the pain? I guess not, they have spent millions on remodeling the building they work in.

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jhawkinsf 3 years ago

There are two rules in business: Rule # 1 is that the customer is always right. Rule # 2 is that if the customer is wrong, refer to rule # 1. I'd like to see that attitude in government departments. What we get is a bureaucracy that treats taxpayers like they couldn't care less. I've gone to DMV, county clerks, etc. and seen workers moving at a snail's pace. I'll support public sector workers getting Cadillac health care and pensions when I see them deferring their break from when it's busy to a time when it's less busy. Police, firemen, teachers, fine. But the clerks at government offices, no.

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Kim Murphree 3 years ago

As for the comment about being entreprenuers---there seems to be a lack of respect for those who do work as state or public employees...and I wonder where that comes from? If there were enough money out there for small business people to survive, I am sure some of these folks would head out...but under the current economic situation, there is little support for small businesses---that doesn't seem to be on the state agenda...alhough they touted support for small businesses as part of their campaigns---so, once again, here we are making war on hardworking people instead of holding corporations and their legislative counterparts accountable--amazing...how the $$$ needed to support middle class working famlies, once again is the target---war on the middle class--public employee style...here we go.

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jhawkinsf 3 years ago

If I were a state employee, I would be so angry that I would become an entrepreneur, start my own business so I could set my own hours. I could set my own wages and benefits. If successful, I could expand my business so I could create jobs for others and set their wages and benefits. Of course, there might be some level of risk involved. I'd have to invest money in this new business, money that I might lose if my private business venture is not successful.
The question I have is this: Are state employees immune from all risk? Should they never feel the pinch when times are tough? The private sector has been hit hard during the current economic downturn. And because of that, there is less revenue going to the state. Should public employees share in the downturn, or should they be exempt from it? I've posted before telling of the problems owning a business. Many responded, saying that's a consequence of going into private ownership. I might reverse the situation; if a state employee does not like the pay cut, let them start their own business.

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billbodiggens 3 years ago

"State Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, made the motion to remove the legislators' support staff from the proposed pay cut. "That is the least we can do to show our support," Schwartz said. "I don't see how we can carry on our work without these people," she said. " . . . . But the rest of the state is expendable? ? ? Oh well, they will do what they did last year. They tried to exempt legislative employees and failed when they cut salaris last year. So, they simply delay the bill authorizing the salary cut until after the legislative session was over. That way they avoided having both their salaries and those of their employees which were effectively untouched. This type of thing leads to an every more popular characterization of the legislature being populated by unprincipled brigands.

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bobberboy 3 years ago

So - the legislators worry about losing their own support staff but could care less about State workers - is that what i'm hearing ?

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Crazy_Larry 3 years ago

For the last 4 years the State of Kansas has been implementing a 'market adjustment' pay raise for certain under-paid state employees, i.e. engineers, scientists, etcetera; and now they want to take it all back! Let's see, increases to health insurance, increases to KPERs contributions, and now a pay cut too boot! Balancing the budget on the backs of state workers (the minority). BALDERDASH AND POPPYCOCK! Why is it up to state employees to take the hit? In a state of 3-million-plus people it's up to 38,000 state employees to make a sacrifice? Why not increase taxes on everyone in the state? And why is it that legislative staff are exempt from this paycut? BALDERDASH AND POPPYCOCK! I've had all I can stands and I can't stands anymore!

Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you will remember if we were good men or bad, why we fought, or why we died. No, all that matters is that the Republicrats and Democans have sold the state, and country, down the river. Few stood against many, that's what's important. Valor pleases you, Crom, so grant me one request, grant me REVENGE! And if you do not listen, then the hell with you!

Redbeard, firebeard, bringer of lightning, Lifegiving stormlord are you, lover of feasting, Father of freedom, fighter most doughty, Donar, defender, dearly we need thee, Hear us, hero, hasten to help us,

The forests echo with prayers in the night. The sound of grinding steel is heard. We breathe the silence before the storm, Awaiting the final word, We are ready for war...

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, (is sweet and glorious to die for their country) We're fighting for our people who are yearning to be free. The great halls of Valhalla, free me from this earthly maze, No escape from Odin's everlasting gaze.

The sun opens my drowsy eyes, the wind breathes in my face. I'd rather lie here in the grass, in this peaceful place. Battle orders from above, come from the powers that be. I'll fight till death and show these dogs we Vikings never flee.

Death and destruction, we'll reap the whirling wind. I'll close my eyes and think not of this war we're fighting in.

Behold our godly might. We'll bring Thor's Hammer down. United we stride and make a stand. Before we rest down in the ground.

Invaders, usurpers, Leave now from this land! War's the only tongue you understand, so that is what shall be...

Hail Odin Master of Fury: Primal and uncontained: dictated by necessity. May i persevere, unrepressed, in adversity. My Your Valkyries find me worthy When the web of my life is cut.

Lo, there do I see my Father.. Lo, there do I see my Mother And my Sisters and my Brothers.. Lo, there do I see the line Of my people back to the beginning.. Thay do bid me to take my place among them.. In the Halls of Valhalla, Where the Brave may live forever.

Patria o muerte!

Rah, rah, fight the power!

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Kim Murphree 3 years ago

Here's what these bozos don't get--you increase health insurance payments (rather than regulating the industry so it can't charge so much), you increase payments for retirement, and cut wages--while gasoline prices soar (and tax payer money supports that industry) which makes food prices go up---WHO is going to BUY from the businesses that are the sacred cows of this state administration? No regulation on business--no living wage...and now cuts for families struggling to make ends meet already. How does it make sense? The people LOSING their wages are the CONSUMERS that drive the so-called "free market." If there is no money to buy, that engine will come to a screeching HALT. Please tell me how this will produce jobs and a better economy? People will lose homes, cars, and the kids will have a lesser education which means even less chance for a higher paying job--but then, maybe that's the real agenda...no more middle class...just masters of industry and poor workers...really? Is that how we want Kansas to look?

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Dave Trabert 3 years ago

Consideration of employee pay cuts might not be an issue if agencies seriously looked at how they spend money. I'm not endorsing pay cuts - just saying that if agencies would step up with ideas of their own to reduce spending, this idea might not be on the table. State agencies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on things that could be curtailed or eliminated without really impacting services. Travel, advertising, overtime, dues and subscriptions and printing are just a few examples. When was the last time a full communications audit was conducted to see how much those costs could be reduced? State employees pay a much lower percent of their health care than private sector counterparts; a KansasWatchdog story last fall found the state could save at least $30 million per year by having employees pay at the national average. (Full disclosure - I work for Kansas Policy Insitute which is a sponsor of Kansas Watchdog; not trying to hide anything, which is why I post under my real name.)

The potential cost reductions listed above are the type of things that efficiency advisory boards would look into but unfortunately state employee groups openly oppose the establishment of independent advisory panels. Wouldn't it be better to find ways to operate more efficiently than to reduce pay?

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bobberboy 3 years ago

These paycuts are basically tax increases on the higher paid state employees. Why don't we raise taxes on all of the higher income Kansans - not just those that work for the state ?? Why are State workers always the scapegoats. I guess State workers will just have to cut back on what they buy.

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gudpoynt 3 years ago

Goodbye franchise tax.

Goodbye corporate property tax on machinery and equipment.

Goodbye corporate income tax, in the near future.

Hello $500+ Million decrease in tax revenues.

Hello recession and welcome to our financial "crisis".

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for.... I am pleased to introduce....

Funding cuts to public education! Funding cuts for social services! Salary cuts to middle class state employees!


Kansans! Please! Wake! Up!

Throughout this "crisis", taxes on businesses, large and small, continue to go down.

It's time we started looking at who benefits most from these tax cuts, and whether those benefits outweigh the cost of cuts to public education, social services, and wages of middle class state employees.

I've looked at it, and from what I can see, the benefits of these tax cuts help a relatively small group of businesses, while the same amount of money taken from public education, social services, and public employee salaries, has a much broader, and much more negative effect.

I implore the rational right to start using some of that down-home common sense with which they so often identify.

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junco_partner 3 years ago

Paycut for State workers in todays article. Yesterday there was an article saying they were considering increasing how much state workers have to contribute to KPERS.

Even though the KPERS increase isn't a paycut it means you will be taking home less, so it is effectively a paycut. Combine this with rising food/gas prices and well you do the math....

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Alceste 3 years ago

Woops....wait up there a second.....what is the Legislative Coordinating Council? Oh well....it has some big money incomes too.....this boy name of Jeffrey Russell got himself a lottery winnings pay of $96,199.12 for 2010. How'd he do that?!

Then there is this outfit called the Legislative Research Department. I wonder what that is? Well, that outift got itself a person name of Alan Conroy who got himself $115,215.90 for 2010. What"s so difficult with what he does? Or, has it been who he has known? I dunno.

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

See for yourself by accessing the link above...

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Alceste 3 years ago

By Golly....they're a lot of familiar surnames who work as "support staff" for the Legislature; Names like Graves and Hayden are but two examples. There's a LOT of BIG MONEY being paid to those "staff" too. See for yourself:

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

There's a bunch of "Chief of Staff" types too....whatever that is. This Michael White fellow raked in almost $90,000.00 for 2010 . This "Brent Hayden" fellow was right behind White, again, at almost $90,000.00 for 2010. It appears that only about 21 or so people benefit from the "exemption". Wow.

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autie 3 years ago

question4u, it might appear that the most successful thing a state rep can do this session is to stick their big fat foot in their big fat mouth. Which might not be so bad since the coffee has so much spit in it anyway.

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sciencegeek 3 years ago

I'm glad that somebody jumped on the most blatant hypocrisy in the whole article. They cut the pay of anyone who DOESN'T work for THEM!! How can you let that pass? How incredibly hypocritical can legislators be? And they do it with a straight face!!

How can any of these people be re-elected?!!

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Jan Rolls 3 years ago

So blantant and uncaring.

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question4u 3 years ago

"State Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, made the motion to remove the legislators' support staff from the proposed pay cut. 'That is the least we can do to show our support," Schwartz said. "I don't see how we can carry on our work without these people,' she said."

As for state employees who do not work for legislators, Schwartz implied that they do not deserve support because the legislature is perfectly capable of carrying on without those people. After all, government should exist mainly to perpetuate itself. We can always find new engineers, teachers, scientists, accountants, etc. to work for the state at pay significantly lower pay than that in the private sector, but it would be foolish to be stingy with the pay of legislators' support staff.

After all, Schwartz implies, what do state engineers do for us? Inspecting state buildings for safety, protecting state water rights, etc. are nothing compared to the fine work of our legislative support staff. And those people in the state Department of Agriculture? How does ensuring the safety of the food supply stack up next to the absolutely crucial work done by Schwartz's support staff?

If can't use your position in the Kansas House to make exceptions for your own staff, then why would you bother to get elected anyway?

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pace 3 years ago

"But the committee exempted its own legislative staff from the pay cut." smart., one wouldn't want to ask the gal or guy to get you a cup of coffee and have to test it for spit.

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Agnostick 3 years ago

What is needed is a law that makes it so that state legislators cannot be paid more per hour than actual state employees. This would save the state tons of money.

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autie 3 years ago

corduroypants and thuja just no that I ain't gots no increase in ffour year an even gots furloaved for some days and stuff but you gots to jus grin a bare it in the tuff time till the conomees gets bettered up and stuff so the states gots money to pay folks a reel wages an not jus send them home earlier no more

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Kontum1972 3 years ago

Ack ...Ack.......making the inter-national sign of the donut ----> O...ACK...ACK....!

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Kontum1972 3 years ago

we need a Death Ray.....!

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Alceste 3 years ago

http://www.shepherdsstaffministries.org/index.html

Read allllllllll about Rep. Pete DeGraaf, R-Mulvane. He's a swell guy. Real stand up American he is.... They call him "Dr. Checkbook".

5,350 voted for him. Swell guy. Because Habitat for Humanity allows him to represent them, No more money to Habitat for Humanity from Alceste and Company.....

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Kim Murphree 3 years ago

Well, now we know why they don't want public employees to have collective bargaining or unions....

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MyDogHoudini 3 years ago

My last comment was supposed to be listed after corduroypants comment on poor grammar. I also blame the Republicans for my original comment going to the wrong spot.

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rjm10215 3 years ago

They are whacking away at the wrong end of the totem pole and it’s going to fall over! Did I miss where our representatives are taking any pay cuts or cutting any of their “perks”?

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MyDogHoudini 3 years ago

With the continued erosion of our public education system, under this republican "leadership", all our state residents will have writing and grammar this poor in the future. You can't continue to cut education without suffering consequences.

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bd 3 years ago

"Democrats, outnumbered by Republicans 17-6 on the committee, seemed relegated to an observer’s role as the panel worked on a budget for fiscal year 2012"

Don't you just love the bi-partisan effort here???

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Richard Heckler 3 years ago

A $500,000,000 shortfall some claim.

So why are the republicans cutting taxes at the same time? Are they nuts? Perhaps they failed simple math?

Brownback wants to give some new residents a tax abatement for moving to some parts of Kansas? and pay off college loans? Did this man ever attend math classes?

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bobberboy 3 years ago

Raise taxes on the rich !!

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nomorebush 3 years ago

after they cut npr pbs and the nws there might be less rural republicans this fall.

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Bushloather1 3 years ago

Often mentioned in the debate over corporate political influence is Koch Industries, a conglomerate with holdings in oil, paper and other interests owned by brothers Charles and David Koch, whose combined net worth is estimated at $44 billion. The longtime conservatives have told supporters that they plan to spend tens of millions of dollars on the 2012 elections, and they have come under attack from Democrats for supporting union-busting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). These two Kansans could write a check for $19mil What is in your wallet?

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bks253 3 years ago

The proposal I heard was a state employee earning $60,000 would have a 2.5% pay cut; an employee earning $80,000 would have a 5% cut and employees earning $100,000 and above would receive a 7.5% cut. Typical that Republicans want a "sliding scale" for those earning less than $100,000 per year, but no "sliding scale" for those earning more than $100,000. It would be more equitable to cut those earning $100,000, 7.5% (the present plan) and those earning $120,000, 10% and those earning $140,000, 12.5% and so on.

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toe 3 years ago

Pay cuts are a certainty. We are just arguing about the amount.

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kugrad 3 years ago

The irony is that Anthony Brown tries to portray himself as a pro-education representative. This shows what kind of radical extreme right agenda he really has in mind. I've spoken with him on the phone and his pro-education talk is a complete lie.

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Floyd Craig 3 years ago

bet they dont get re-elected attacking the state works who hasnt had a raise no in I bet 5 yrs or more when I was there I hadnt had one in 3 yrs glade I quiet when I did they need to cut thier own pay they make a lot more then the state workers do

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bobberboy 3 years ago

Raise taxes on the rich !!!!!

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question4u 3 years ago

Brownback's plan did not call for cuts to state employee salaries, so where is the justification for this? Since Brownback has suggested that the budget can be balanced without spitting on public employees, DeGraaf clearly doesn't care whether his proposal is necessary or not. Not even a fourth grader could fail to comprehend the ugliness of this guy's character.

Now let's guess what the House as a whole will do? Its integrity is represented by Mike Only-My-Law-Firm-is-Allowed-to-Sue-the-State O'Neal. Its compassion is represented by Virgil Death-From-Above Peck. Its fairness is represented by Connie Olive-Complexion-Detection O'Brien, and its intelligence is represented by Bill Redneck-Rap Otto.

The only question is what kind of person is Brownback? Does he have integrity, compassion, a sense of fairness and intelligence? Does he have the moral fiber to show by example that public employees should not be made scapegoats for a problem that belongs to the state as a whole? Does he have a sense of justice, or will he allow people like DeGraaf to gratuitously slap around workers whose only mistake is to have taken a job with the state? Is he intelligent enough to know that cutting the salaries of state workers (which he has already suggested is not necessary) takes money out of the economy, lowers morale, raises turnover rate, and insures that the quality of worker who will consider a job with the state of Kansas will drop?

Brownback has already proposed a budget that doesn't intentionally beat up on people. Will he stick to his position or will he allow the pettiness, self-interest, stupidity and maliciousness of the Kansas House to leave its stain on him?

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David Albertson 3 years ago

It sure is funny how there's not one mention of cutting their own pay or benefits. Put your money where your mouth is a-holes.

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newmath 3 years ago

What is needed is a law that makes it so that state contractors and consultants cannot be paid more per hour than actual state employees. This would save the state tons of money.

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true_patriot 3 years ago

Class warfare right out in the open: Gauge a small segment of middle class workers, tantamount to raising taxes on them a lot, rather than raising taxes on everyone a tiny bit. That class of workers has had pay freezes and erosion of benefits in the boom times (resulting in flat to falling real wages) and now gets raped a second time in the bust cycle.

This is crudely partisan and not pragmatically responsible leadership.

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kuphil 3 years ago

The article is needlessly confusing- the amendment is a straight-line reduction, going from 0% (for those making 40k) to 7.5% (for those making 100k)

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Richard Payton 3 years ago

A employee making $40,000.00 a year at 7.5% pay cut earns $37,000.00 a year. An employee making $38,500.00 a year receives no pay cut. It pays to make less a year in some cases if this bill passes.

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